Admiration for the Bravery of Fear

I have been waiting for a very long time for someone, anyone, to validate my general carriage in life and finally, last night in the Ken Burns documentary titled "The War" I finally heard what I suspected had to be true:

"I admired the guys who were terrified the most, the guys who were scared and still went out and did what they had to do. So many of us were too dumb to be scared but I admired those guys who were afraid."
Ward Chamberlain on Cassino.

I am generally terrified.
I had to be shoved out the door to go to college, for 2 years in a row and in order to avoid being abandoned at college the third year, I just didn't go home for the summer. I didn't go home for the fourth, either.
It worked out better.

I was terrified to move to any new place I've moved, to go to the gym, to actually play roller derby, to make a fool of myself, to think for a second that maybe my life is actually quite fine as is.

In spite of being a nervous wreck about everything, I gut down and do what needs to be done.
I don't have to like it and I don't have to give up being afraid of things that are hard.

There's this message in a lot of my circles: Rock it out. Fuck that noise. We rule. Nothing bad is going to happen.
You're supposed to believe that you can do anything all the time and that anything you touch is going to turn out golden if you put enough into it.
You're supposed to believe that you either won't fail or that it won't matter if you fail.
It's not true.
It matters if you fail.
You could die - Ward Chamberlain was referring to actual death but how may little deaths do you have in a day?
I have 1.3 million, easily.
A little death with the fistful of M & Ms.
A little death with the email I can't get to sound right and I HAVE to get it out this afternoon.
A little death when I go to bed alone, every time I eat crow, and every time I call to see what the balance is in my checking account.
It MATTERS and to be terrified is admirable because it means you KNOW that it matters.

To be brave is to know that you're feeling fear and to move forward anyway.

But where do you go from being scared?
Well, you still have a job to do.
You still have to march into a line of Nazi soldiers or recalibrate your dinner plans to "cereal" instead of "stop at Sunflower and get some chicken."
You still go to be alone every night and wake up hoping that maybe today is the day you'll meet someone.
Even if you are terrified, you go through with the task at hand.

People who are scared of the impending death but who go through with the required action that might bring the death closer must be unflagging in their faith.

Which makes me think that maybe I am actually a person of faith, a person who learned that no matter what, the sun will struggle up, the world will still keep turning and that the death waiting for you is absolutely waiting for you.
Why not be afraid of it?
Why not know about it and think about it and be aware of the possible consequences of your actions?

As long as you have faith that taking the action is the right thing to do, that it's what you have to do, maybe you're the smart person in the end.
Having a little fear is smart - what you do with that fear is up to you.

The truly brave know what they are walking into, trust that walking into it is the right thing to do, and they go.

Now go.
Be brave.
Be afraid.

arizonasarah at 11:29 a.m.

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