Almost a year ago today – on January 11, 2011 – I wrote a post for this blog that was about fear. Not the heart-stopping panic you feel when turbulence tosses your plane around like a toy in a wind tunnel, but the small, everyday fear that stops you from living your life. Way back then, I was taking small steps to try to move past the fears that limited me. Slowly, I wrote, I was gaining the confidence to dare to be myself, to accept failure as a part of life and not as defeat.
Since then, my progress had been sporadic: two steps forward, one step back. But today I find myself here, in what seems like half a lifetime later, on the other side of something completely unexpected.
In the end, I didn’t conquer all those fears one by one. A flash of insight three months ago led to another and another and another, and before I knew it, that “aha!” moment had started my own personal psychological tsunami. It has slowly dawned on me over the last week that the resulting tidal wave has swept away every last barrier standing between me and the person I was capable of becoming.
How on Earth did I get here, and why did it take me so damned long?!?! I’m not sure there’s an easy answer for the first question or any answer for the second. Starting in May of 2007, my life became an emotional roller coaster that – if my intuition is right – has finally pulled into the platform. I’ve had a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of guilt, a lot of loss (not all of it unwelcome) and a lot of angst.
And then in November of 2010, a very smart man – the right person at the right time – handed me a key that unlocked the answer to a puzzle I had been trying to solve my entire adult life. Beyond that, I’ve done too much thinking, and lots of talking, reading, writing and a whole lot of feeling. I’ve stood back and watched and listened, and tried to follow my instincts even when I didn’t trust them.
I have no illusions that my path will remain forever unblocked. Fears new or old might yet halt my steps or make me think twice. I may briefly rue the fact that my breakthrough took so very long. But in this one fearless moment, I offer up a toast to the universe for bringing me to this place in this time, and I trust that whatever awaits next on the journey will prove to have been worth waiting for.