Language is such a complex topic — the way we talk, the words we choose to portray a particular thought, the countless grammar rules one must be aware of to sound like a pseudo-educated human being. It’s a lot to have in a person’s head all for the sake of communication, whether it be conversational or your own internal “self-talk.”
I’m not one of those people who is really good with language. All those rules and parts of speech and spelling and punctuation? Yuck, not really my cup of tea (or coffee). The only reason I can tell you when you should use a semicolon instead of a colon is because I just googled it (and I’ll probably forget within the next hour and do it incorrectly anyway). Yet, I will admit to having a certain love of all the ridiculous idioms and well known phrases we use in the English language.
That’s a piece of cake. Why don’t you just spill the beans? Well now he’s gotten a taste of his own medicine.
You know, phrases like that. Yet, I never really realized how many of those phrases cause a bit of “literal dissonance” for a person in my shoes… uh, wheels.
I just want to get my foot in the door. She’s trying to climb the corporate ladder. They were paralyzed with fear.
Paralyzed with fear.
That’s the one that has got me thinking.
I know what it’s like to be fearful and now I also know what it’s like to be paralyzed. Yet, I only have control over one of those “state of beings.” Paralysis is very real and yet so is fear; it doesn’t surprise me in the least that these two very different things can and are so easily linked.
Think of that “out of your comfort zone” activity or event. That person you’re afraid to see after 15 years. That new hobby you want to try and yet don’t want to try. That thing you really should practice and should do, but practicing means failing, likely over and over and over again. So you don’t….paralyzed with fear.
Sure, I think fear can be healthy and I think there are good things that come about from a certain level of fear. For example, I have (in my mind) a mostly reasonable fear about getting back out on the road in my racing chair this early in spring. Yes, I’m wearing florescent clothing in a florescent racing chair with a florescent flag and am pushing as far to the side of the road as I can without hitting potholes that will send me flying out of my racer or straight into the ditch. Yet, I’m a bit fearful that drivers aren’t necessarily looking for runners, bikers, or paralyzed girls in racing chairs on the road yet. Especially on a few of the nearby roads that I push on…
But what about all those fears that aren’t actually reasonable. Making one feel like they physically can’t do something….out of fear. Fear of what? Fear of failing? Fear of being vulnerable? Fear of people seeing you for the real and awesome person that you actually are?
I’ve seen the question posed, “What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?”
but what’s more important is the rebuttal to that question, “What’s worth doing even if I fail?”
I’ll be the first to admit my severe aversion to any kind of personal failure. I won’t tell people when I’m going to do something big (like take a driver’s test with hand controls) out of fear I’ll have to admit a failure. I struggled clicking the “submit” button after 7.5 hours of MCAT testing and even more endless hours of studying that led up to that “moment of reckoning.”
Yet, I think in those “big” moments of questioning and vulnerability and well, fear, that’s when and where the greatest things can and do happen. I can’t choose to change my paralysis, this literal inability to move. I do however, have complete control over how I decide to respond to my own personal fears because goodness, do I have plenty of them.
To live is to be vulnerable.
To face fear is to experience life fully.
Of course it isn’t easy, but what fun is easy anyway.
Side note: I did get my MCAT scores back and I did well. Checkmark that off my to-do list 😀