Tag Archives: Fear

Eventually Everyone Will Show Up…..Make Sure it is to the Right Place

Just out of college, I used to work with teenagers.  I loved it.  They did all sorts of quirky things.  I was young enough, that some of the high school kids mistook me for a student and invited me to parties.  One even asked if he could spike my drink while I was sitting at Sonic.  Really?!? No, thanks.

My favorite age to work with were 7th and 8th grade.  I’m not sure why, I think it had something to do with the fact that around that age they had enough life under their belt they developed their own personalities.  Yet, they were still young enough that they liked to “play” and most of them were not too self conscious.  Those are the 9th graders….poor creatures.

There was one annoying thing I noticed with 8th graders.  Socially they were still a little off.  They watched older friends and siblings and even parents and they picked up on the social cue that it is not cool to be the only person show up at an event.  No big deal.  Right?  Everyone figures this out at some point.  The problem was week after week they showed up on Sunday mornings for church.  They would talk and several would say they were planning to be at youth activities that evening.  Then, the “cool kid” (I have no idea how this Alpha Dog was chosen, but there was always one) would indicate there was some off-chance that they would not be able to attend.  That night, “cool kid” would show up and no one would be there.  Week after week this Alpha Dog would wonder why no one was there after they said they would attend.  Finally, I would have to explain that everyone saw them as the leader and no one wanted to be there without the “cool kid”.  By the time they is figured this all out, it was time to move on to high school and I would get a fresh batch of eighth graders who did the same thing.

I feel like this is a bit what it is like to make a choice to do something when you know you might fail.  By the time we are adults, we are programmed to succeed.  We actively avoid any and all situations where we might fail and we warn those around us to do the same.  The problem is, just because you are willing to put yourself out there, there is no guarantee that someone else’s fear won’t keep you from your goal.  The trick is to keep after it.

Cultivate relationships and a reputation out of courage to try new things.  Think outside of the box.  Encourage others to do the same.  And, when they fall short, pick them up and move ahead.  Eventually everyone will show up at the same place at the same time.  Let that place be a place of courage and authenticity not a place of fear of failure.

I Fear Often “My Privilege is Showing”

Today the boys and I are home again.  It is Martin Luther King Day.  Every year I try to plan something special.  An event or activity that would help them grasp the meaning of the day.  I have seen a couple of events advertised, but they all seem to be for a specific group, a group of which we are not a part.  We have been to the parade, three times.  Each time I feel like an outsider.  I feel like we are celebrating our differences rather than our similarities.  I feel like this “is not intended for us.”  I cannot help but feel that it is the most segregated day of the year and this seems like it goes against all of the things I have tried to instill in my children.  

Irrational Fear

I have mentioned before, that I twisted the arm of a friend and writer and she has agreed to be my writing mentor/coach.  She has been giving me weekly writing assignments.  They began very easy, 1 paragraph about anything, a haiku, etc.  This week, after a multi-week break for the holidays, I am supposed to write about “fear”.  I think that the thing I am most fearful of at this point in my life is writing about fear.  So, to lighten the mood and distract me from the task at hand, here is a brief list of irrational fears I have to date.