the essence of fear

where there should be fear... there is none

I’ll admit it, I’m not proud of it, but sometimes fear gets the better of me.

I am afraid of many different things, and in many ways I am fearless… a walking paradox, but then who isn’t, right?

I love to surf, I really want to be good at it, but there is something holding me back, something in the back of my mind telling me that I can’t do it. And when I listen to that, I become complacent, I become foolish, I become slow and then I let the fear get the better of me. And then I’m truly terrible, for surfing is one of those things, that you have to do without fear.

But then I’m afraid of travelling alone… Why wouldn’t I be, its terrifying. But I do it, as often and as full of enthusiasm as I can.

So, what is the essence of fear?

I have had to face many fears whilst living here in this little village, and a lot of people don’t realise how challenging the simplest things can be when you are living in a new culture, a new country and surrounded by a language that you don’t understand. For those who are familiar with these things, they find it difficult to understand the fears and the challenges that one must face in day to day activities. Something as simple as paying the electricity bill, buying a new battery, grocery shopping – can really turn your head around.

There is something daunting about being in amongst a functioning set of villages, going about their day to day lives, and when you try to get involved, you are misunderstood, you don’t understand what people are saying and you find you get turned around and around and around until you are unbearably dizzy.

So in light of this, it is the little achievements that I celebrate every day. I drove to Parigi today to buy a new battery for my remote. I achieved. Though the remote still does not work – but that is beside the point. I was able to not only find the right battery but complete the entire transaction in a foreign language… For that I will give myself a little high five.

For when you are surrounded by things that are new and challenges that there is no easy way to conquer – you have to celebrate the little successes that you make along the way.

I never thought that being out here would be easy. And it’s not. but it is every moment where I want to be. I never wish I was anywhere else. And whenever I do leave, I just wish I was back, with my feet on the chocolate sand, my head swimming with new words, sounds, tastes and general confusion and the sapphire water lapping at my bruised, insect bitten feet… cooling the itch.

Travellers are an interesting breed of people, it is different to be a traveller than a holiday maker. A holiday maker never has to go to the market and figure out how to get minced meat from the corpse of a cow that lays in front of you in the sun. A holiday maker never concerns themselves too much with local custom or culture – except perhaps in a show or tour. A holiday maker never worries about the connections they are making and the good or the damage they perhaps are creating along the way. A traveller does. A traveller worries, listens, notes things and gets confused and frustrated and then gets up and tries it again.

Conquering fear is difficult. People say to take a deep breath and just get on with it.

Australians will call you soft or a pussy if you admit to being afraid – GROW a pair, they’d say.

Indonesians say, I’m afraid. I’m nervous. I’m scared. And it is accepted. It is not a bad thing to be afraid, you are not considered weak, it is a feeling, not a reflection on who you are as a person – perhaps there is something that we should all take from that.

Feel it, accept it, don’t judge yourself by it, maybe that way its easier to let it go?

Some musings on this hot, sweaty, insect ridden afternoon.

Barefoot sweat and itch and burn.

2 Responses to “the essence of fear”
  1. iNge says:

    someone once told me you should do one thing a day which you are really dreading to do. just one.

    doesn’t always work but sure does feel good once you have..

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] I wrote about fear and how to get away from it and to stop it from taking over your life. I thought I had this no-fear approach to life down. I was so very, very wrong. […]

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