You will never see me jumping out of a plane. At least, for pleasure or "Hey, I've got nothing better to do so l think I'm going to jump out of a plane!" Suffice it to say that I will be okay if I die before getting the chance to bungy-jump or sky dive.
I'm also not a huge fan of roller coasters, or heights, for that matter. I find no joy in getting sick to my stomach after being dropped at over 60 miles per hour in a tiny car at some weird amusement park in Central New Jersey.
Can you tell I'm still scarred?
But then I do things that I imagine would scare the crap out of a lot of people -- perform theater and music in front of large audiences while stone cold sober, speak about various issues and topics to thousands of real life people, and blog about whatever floats my boat, including various unsundries and other private matters.
But really, jumping out of a plane or dancing a musical number is nothing compared to the fear that comes with parenting. And no one gives you a parachute.
I've written candidly about my own fears when it comes to being a mother on more than one occasion. Maybe it's my festering anxiety now brought to the surface by my living circumstances and one more child. Or maybe it's because it's something that not too many people talk about, except maybe their therapists.
But fear is something I deal with on a daily basis -- fear that I won't raise my children well, fear that something will happen to them, fear that something will happen to me, and fear that I won't be here to see them grow up.
So, when I was asked to read Arianna Huffington's new book "On Becoming Fearless," I was more than happy to oblige. I'd love to consider myself fearless in the face of parenting -- not really for my own sake, but for the sake of my children.
While I have not read any of Arianna's previous books, I have to say that this one is a pleasant mix of personal anecdotes and sound advice. I admit that I wasn't taken aback by the writing -- it's fairly simple and straightforward -- but for someone searching for answers about fearlessness in daily living, it's effective. Even for someone like me, who is considered "brave" in terms of my writing, I found essays and sections of the book that spoke to me.
Arianna discusses her own personal life decisions and struggles, as well as the difficulties fear places on women -- fear when it comes to body image, when it comes to advancing in the work place, and when it comes to becoming old.
My own issues with body image, self worth, and mortality were never so apparent until I had a baby (and then another one) -- and now raising a daughter while disgruntled with my own figure and worried about every ache and pain just isn't healthy.
Fear just isn't healthy.
The essays by women who have faced inconceivable adversity are refreshing and if anything reiterate the notion that we are not alone in our fear, but yet, we do not need to let it rule us. Mothers who have lost children and women who have achieved the unthinkable share their thoughts on their own fear turned fearlessness.
So as I continue on my own journey towards fearlessness -- without any drugs, alcohol, plastic surgery, or anonymity -- I appreciate Arianna's words and her daily boldness to take life by the reins.
If you'd like to win a copy of Arianna's book, please leave me a comment and talk about your own fears and what you've done to remedy them. Additionally, you can win a chance at an autographed copy of her book by participating in a fantastic Fearless Friday "meme." Click here for more details!