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I used to spend a lot of time being afraid.

After the car accident when I was turning 19 I became afraid of being alone. What if I died and no one knew? I became terrified of being in the car by myself. What if I died and no one knew? When I wasn’t afraid of myself dying, I’d become terrified of my parents dying. Driving down the expressway I’d find myself sobbing after imaging the phone call informing me of one of their deaths. On shorter drives, I’d imagine being old and unmarried, no children to care for me, no companion by my side.

One of my many goals when I moved to Colorado was to work through whatever caused those fears. I knew I needed to stop surrounding myself with people just out of my fear of dying suddenly. I knew I needed to stand up for myself, admitting when I was unhappy and being open about my views and insights on life happening around me. I knew, deep down inside, that I was okay, and I was good enough, and that there was nothing stopping me from being myself.

However, as everyone knows, this is all easier said then done. In social situations, I was still afraid. I was afraid of the people around me, uncontrollable, with their abilities to further scare me. I was afraid of my own ability to communicate. I was afraid I couldn’t say what I meant. I was afraid that even though I was in Colorado, I’d still somehow be stuck in scary Michigan-like situations.

And, as if it was a self fulfilling prophecy, the things I was afraid of all came to light. My dad is dying. My life in Colorado became full of Michigan-like scenarios I was uncomfortable in. I found myself taking all too familiar paths that I didn’t want to be taking, and I was doing so for reasons that didn’t include the betterment of myself, but instead because of a fear of walking away.

In my last post I mentioned that life is no longer a surprise. Honestly, it’s not. When it came time to face the fears I’d always had, they weren’t so bad after all. I’ve learned a lot in this journey with my dad’s cancer and I finally found the ability to walk away from the situations I’m uncomfortable in. I’ve found a source within me to be more comfortable in the situations that aren’t actually that scary after all. Also mentioned in my last post, I, to some extent, have found myself. My true self.

While making all these decisions for myself lately and not for those surrounding me, I’ve made a lot of changes that have drastically impacted my life and my well being. I put myself first. I made choices that were scary and ended up being some pretty damn great things for myself. I’m happy now, and much less afraid.