Friday, May 24, 2013

The fears—they keep you from living

For a long time, I considered myself the “traveling” woman—someone who wanted to explore the world. I work as a journalist in Philadelphia and as much as I love this city, I have always yearned to discover new places, even if only for a weekend.

Then it happened. A few days ago, my friend Sarah told me she bought a plane ticket to Spain. I was beyond jealous—she could afford to travel and she had no fear. She was going alone and I wished I had her courage to do so. I wish I could travel. So what is holding me back?

My fears.

Yesterday my editor asked if I had ever been to Canada. I have always wanted to travel to Toronto, Cananda. Next year, the city will host World Pride and journalists from various LGBTQ publications were asked to preview the city, write a review and have their lodging, food and air travel paid for. So what is holding this wannabe traveler back?

One word: air travel

I have never flown. I don’t even have a passport. Everywhere I have traveled in the states has been drivable and the thought of flying for the first time to another country, to a strange city by myself just terrifies me. So how can I be afraid of flying when I have never done so? I am not really sure when this fear started, but it progressively began when my life started to become exponentially better and then I realized what my fear truly is.

I am afraid of death

And it is because I love life so much.

The thought of not being on this earth anymore makes my skin crawl. I am a firm believer that when life gives you lemons, make lemonade and that is what I have done and it has made my life miraculous. I love everything about life—I love the people who are in my life, I love my job, I love my city, I love my environment and I love everything I am blessed with and the thought of it slipping away from me or me slipping away from it just devastates me.

But it is more than the fear of death for me,  it is the fear of not having control. Let’s face it, when I am behind the wheel of my car, I have control of what I do, not necessarily what everyone else does, but I still have an ounce of control and the same goes for many different situations. Flying is pretty much letting other people take the wheel for me and that is something I struggle with on a daily basis.

But I am also a firm believer that sometimes, you just have to take risks, you have to enjoy the ride and you have to live life for those who truly cannot live their own. Fears keep you form accomplishing what you want.

So maybe one day I will be like Sarah, a confident young woman traveling on my own with no fear. For now, I will continue my life on the ground and maybe, just maybe, I will find that individual who will take my fears away, who will comfort me and maybe then, I will find a traveling friend.

Because this is one journalist who truly does want to see the world.