“Fear holds us and binds us and keeps us from growing. It kills a small piece of us each day. It holds us to what we know and keeps us from what’s possible, and it is our worst enemy. Fear doesn’t announce itself; it’s disguised, and it’s subtle. It’s choosing the safe course; most of us feel we have rational reasons to avoid taking risks. The brave man is not the one without fear but the one who does what he must despite being afraid.”
The King’s Buccaneer, R. E Feist.
When i read this i was suddenly depressingly aware that this is what i have been doing. Something squeezed the courage out of me in September 2001 because i am sure i haven’t always been this convinced that bad things would happen. I was a student in London, i was there when it was still bombed, i didn’t run home when the City bomb went off, or when Finchley Rd, the next station to mine, was bombed. What’s gone wrong with my perspective? Is it just motherhood? I know i was always fairly cautious but i’ve not obsessed about plane accidents or volcanos/tsunamis/earthquakes or random events like that. (I got over the London flood one once the barrier went up :)) I might dislike thunderstorms but only when i know i am more than normally vulnerable, like in a field, and after all, they do come with killer bolts of electricity attached. Its a damn sight more respectable a fear than spiders.
I have a dislike of car accidents, admittedly, but i did have 2 friends squashed flat in them, it hasn’t stopped me driving a car. I used to go to the theatre in London regularly, now i can get myself in a paddy in the local showcase cinema. There is just something far more chilling about the idea of a person actively setting out to end life that really makes me quake. And it been making me quake for years. It took considerable mind over matter to go to Windsor Castle, because i’ve found it really hard to get over the feeling that yesterday has been coming for a long time. And i just didn’t want to be there. The same sort of terror that meant i went to hospital to have Josie i suppose, because the idea of making a fatal decision just terrified me.
The passage above just happened to open my eyes to myself. Caught me at a receptive moment and made me see i’ve turned into a person i don’t like much. I don’t suddenly want to find i’ve spent 20 years in Pboro, giving my children a boring life because of my fears. One of us will only end up dead of a picture falling on our head while at safely home. It just seemed somewhat ironic that the news less than 12 hours later forced me into see if my money was where my mind was. I think i’d been wondering when it was going to happen for so long that when it did, i just felt resigned to it. I dunno where it leaves me really, having just convinced myself i had to trust that it was safe, does this prove me right or wrong? I seem to be good at making wrong choices, i hate living with the consequences; wrong time to sell a house, wrong time to not plan a homebirth, wrong time, wrong time, wrong time. Bad judgement anywhere.
I’m not a callous bitch, just because i didn’t blog the sentence “i’m just so gutted for all the people” doesn’t mean i wasn’t thinking it. Just because i blogged my reaction, out of stupifaction that co-incidence had shrieked “wrong time” again, doesn’t mean i was making a drama out of someone else’s crisis. I was just a bit gobsmacked and platitudes and worthy remarks on how sad i was felt a bit meaningless. As someone said on a list today, i can’t be sad enough for all the sad people, poor enough for all the poor people etc etc After 1/2 a million people dying in a tsunami at Christmas and what, 1/2 a million dead in Iraq? what’s the point in anything if you don’t say “sh*t, i have to change my life” in reaction to more waste? What good would me blogging “i’m just so angry for all the people lying about in bits” do?
“The brave man is not the one without fear but the one who does what he must despite being afraid.”
I’ve got to try and live my life more like this.