"What would you do if you were not afraid?"

August 4, 2002

Welcome to Wyndspirit Dreams! One day I was surfing the ‘net and ran across a writers’ forum where somebody posed this question: "What would you do if you were not afraid?" She said when she had been asked that question a year ago, it changed her life. The responses varied from, "If I were not afraid, I would answer questions like this," to passionate essays about the plight of women in other countries and how minor our fears really are compared to theirs.

What would you do if you were not afraid? Would you end a relationship or take a chance on starting a new one? Quit your job or fight for a promotion or a raise you deserved? Pursue a long-cherished dream? Everybody is afraid, but some people have the courage to forge ahead anyway, despite their fears. I greatly admire those people. Then there are the rest of us. How much of life passes us by because we are afraid to take chances? How much happier might we be if we dared? The thought itself is scary!

Yes, I did answer the question, and this is what I said:

If I were not afraid... What can I say? I am afraid of everything! I am afraid of failure. I am afraid of success. I am afraid of people. I am afraid of myself. But if I were not afraid... I would throw myself into my writing with abandon, not caring if what I wrote was silly or way-out. I would load up my junker car and spend my vacation traveling around the U.S. I would lose 50 lbs. and wear low cut tops and short shorts and take the risk that people might look at me. Or I would not lose 50 lbs. and become a spokesperson to shame the world for not being able to look beyond a person's appearance and see the true spirit underneath. I would quit my job and take the chance that I could make ends meet at a lower-paying job that I could love. I would be friendlier to people I meet. I would say no more often when I didn't feel like doing something. I would do volunteer work for a charity I cared strongly about. It would be scary--but I would be living, not just existing, watching my life slip away, a total waste. But, unfortunately, I am afraid...

I hope I remember this question for a long time. I hope it sticks in my mind and haunts me. If it does, maybe someday I really will find the courage to overcome my fears and really live!

Wyndspirit Dreams