Why am I such a chicken shit?

Decisiveness is not a quality I was blessed with. I have the hardest time making any kind of important decision and many times in my life I have taken the less challenging road and traded potential adventure for assured security. It might not be the most exciting way to live, but then maybe I’m not the most exciting person to know. I’ve watched those around me leap into situations that scare the bejesus out of me .. and soar, and I have wondered at my utter inability to leap right out after them. Much to the bemusement, and no doubt often frustration of those who know me, I’m just not made that way.

Rarely has this disability been more apparent than over the last few months. After being presented with the opportunity to travel abroad for the first time in my 38 years, I was quite literally sick with fear. My immediate reaction was a resounding “no way .. I can’t do this. I can’t. I just can’t.”, which was met with much astonishment from everyone I told. Obviously, this did not help me at all, rather it served to make me feel like an even bigger chicken shit.

To most people the chance to travel to far-flung places and experience amazing things is a wonderful opportunity, not their own personal version of Hell made reality. Still, the “encouragement” I received wasn’t really all that helpful and the process undertaken to get to that chair in the travel agent’s office was so great a challenge to my poor, terrified being that it almost resulted in a genuine rift between me and my oldest friend .. whose wedding is the reason for even contemplating the trip in the first place. That’s not an exaggeration either. There was a point where I was weighing up whether or not I could live with losing a friend because the excrutiating weight of the choice in front of me, and all the associated hurdles, was just too much for me to bear. That is a truly sad thing.

Ultimately, it wasn’t the lure of medieval villages in the south of France, or side trips to the Colosseum or the Grand Canal in Venice that forced me to jump. It wasn’t the wine or the cheese or even the massive draw of a Radiohead concert in this amazing place. No, as with most things that govern my sad little existence .. it was fear, only this time it was fear of letting people down. The bride .. my son, who desperately wants to eat pizza in Rome .. and I suppose even myself. I am not excited. Well, that isn’t true; I oscillate between excitement, terror and indifference. There’s probably something terribly wrong with me, but let’s face it .. that is not really any kind of revelation. I’ve sort of always suspected as much.

Categories: Things About Me, Things I Think, Things That Freak Me Out | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Why am I such a chicken shit?

  1. Being very frank and very truthful about oneself is one of the paths we can walk to a peaceful life. After all, what’s the point of life if you’re not honest even to yourself?

    In any case, being aware of one’s fears can only do so much. It’s not enough. If we’re not going to overcome them, why do we acknowledge them in the first place?

  2. Quite true, Joe. Leap I shall and hope that the landing is soft.
    Thanks for the comment.

  3. So are you going? Maybe that’s not the only reason! Maybe that’s just what you had to tell yourself to allay your fears. You know?

    Maybe you used “well I really should do it to not hurt her feelings” to quite down the “omg no don’t leave” voice. But actually you were feeling “I kind of want to go, let’s find a reason.” Maybe you don’t feel your desires are worth acting on?

    Anyway, a totally awesome friend of mine has a hard time traveling. She panics. And it’s not the worse thing in the world to be cautious. I get that you don’t like it, but the flip side of that is recklessness. So just take quiet small steps that you feel comfortable with to warm up.

    I think you will be so glad and so proud of yourself if you go – don’t worry about the reason. And if you need some sympathy from someone who has a hard time making decisions, read my post yesterday called “Out of the Blue” where I seem to have a hard time deciding between total misery but job, and potential happiness but no job.

  4. I hope that once you make the leap that you will be able to overcome your fears enough to enjoy yourself. Not wanting to let down someone you care about is actually a good reason to try to overcome this fear, but overcoming is still not always possible. Sometimes, life is just too overwhelming.

  5. Xanax for the plane. After that, it’s all fun and games! I love traveling, love Europe, hate flying, particularly across water. Oddly enough, it was the rock climbing guy who had to chop off his own arm that made me finally lose my fear of dying. I figure when it’s your time to go, it’s your time to go. So many people survive the oddest things, while others keel over in their kitchen. However, I still despise the thought of drowning to death (I’d much rather just explode), or burning in rubble, hence the xanax. Life is such an adventure, and you are about to take your son on one hell of a ride. If nothing else, think of it as being a great mom, and fabulous friend. Post pictures!

  6. I just looked back at this post and saw the wonderful, supportive comments I had missed until now. I thank you for that. We did go, we did have a great time and I am glad I somehow managed to swallow my terror and get on with it. There are photos; lots of photos that I have yet to fully sort out, and there is a fledgling travel blog here – http://1dayiamgonnagrowwings.wordpress.com/ – for anyone who may be interested.

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