SORTIE 1 OF THE DAY
PILOT F. Irish S/A
EQUIPMENT Old Blue Eyes
Fear... It is the great divider, the one thing that determines everything in human interaction. Either you overcome it, or you submit to it. You can take the reins in your hands and hold on for the ride, knowing that there is a strong chance you'll be better off for conquering that foe; or you can sit down and allow it to rule your decisions, infect your thought and spoil your hopes. I feel compelled to present to you the reality that I am a fearing man. I am afraid of what my actions will entail, what my words will insight, and what my future holds for me. I am afraid that what I do is futile, what I participate in will fail, and what I hope for will never be realized. I am afraid of many many things. Yet, I have chosen not to submit to this tyrannical fear that has come to define our human condition, as well as our social situations.
To conquer your fear is to free yourself from one more self imposed limitation. To out maneuver your fear is also more agreeable than to allow it to win, once it wins, you lose. Hard to think of an example that will relate universally to yous.
One of the biggest fears I have conquered personally was separation. I was horrified, yet excited, about being thrust into a life that I neither knew, or full well understood, when I received my acceptance letter to Robber Barren. Life was grand that summer after High School. I wasn't going off to college a virgin, I knew how to drink, I had some bullshit plan about why I was going, and what I was getting out of it. But, the simple fact that I had never been away from home for more than two weeks, never been outside of the company of those I knew, never determined my own daily schedule... Shit, I was scared, terrified. I figured I'd wash out in no time and end up doing the other side of that bet I lost to my father. Didn't happen though.
I got over my fear of talking to new people real fast. Although my roommate was most un-agreeable, my suite mates were awesome, and a pilot program I was selected for had allowed me to contact 26 other students for the majority of the summer. I met even more people by just being myself. I tend to dress in a more militaristic fashion, and with the ability to purchase re-enacting gear, I would lounge in the combat uniform. I met one of my great friends because I was painting a helmet in public. I didn't really struggle with my classes that first year, except for public speaking. I tended to be more comical in my subject manner, and my "How To Survive A Roommate" was deemed as in bad taste, I followed that one up with a passionate persuasive speech about suburban sprawl and how it was destroying our country. I got a D. I went on the create a club and argue its validity to the student government, I became an adviser having to interact with other students in the strangest variety of situations and wound up with overwhelming report from the residents, I even stood up against the administration and other RAs with their skewed views of equal justice. The point is, I overcame the many fears and reservations I had about going to college in another state, and I have come out the other side a better person for it.
Even easier to relate to is a fear of heights, or of leaping from a ledge. I can get pretty scared of heights, but it turns into nothing more than an after thought once I have become accustomed to the situation. As for leaping from a ledge, a lot of us do this without much thought as adults, but near my home there is a swim club with a three-tiered diving platform tower thingy. Each level was twelve feet above the one below, and to jump from the first was nothing, the second was a little more hair raising, but the third, oh man, that third platform. At twelve years old, that thing was daunting. I wanted to turn back, wanted to climb down those three ladders and back to the deck. I didn't even care about the shame that would come of it. The dude on the platform with me gave me a shot of courage "Listen kid," he made sure to look me in the eye, "Once you've done it once, you'll wanna do it again." With that he trotted toward the end of the platform and jumped with a smile on his face. It felt like an eternity until I heard the splash, and I waited for the "Go!" from the lifeguard. It came, and I went, scared as hell, off the platform. I will never forget that lesson. I went off a second time that very day. That one random guy was right, it went from something to fear to something to look forward to.
This Log is the embodiment of outmaneuvering fear, as I do not wish to have others punished for my actions. Family and friends are sacred to me, and as such, I don't want them to be forced to acknowledge their relationship with me. It isn't their decision that I am a stoner, and they have no power to change that about me, yet I have seen people lose jobs due to association. I fear the consequences that may befall those that I love, and so I hide my identity from the masses. The easiest way to subdue your opponent is to threaten those things that are held dearest. The issue in that situation is when they overcome their fear, then they're comin' at you full force. In this particular situation, I have found a way to avoid that fearful situation, without having to face the situation decisively. And, as my solution doesn't directly affect anyone's life, liberty, or happiness, I have no need to change the present state of affairs.
HIT! x4 (Did some editing, so I just smoked haphazard)
There have been times when I've submitted to my fears. But in most of those situations, I found myself in that pivotal episode where my fears became unbearable, and I either had to submit again, or overcome it. Every situation where I've overcome my fear, it has made me a stronger person. The pain that comes with fear goes away, replaced with room to breathe and time reexamine yourself. And eventually you walk out the other end of the crisis knowing more about yourself, happy about who you are and what you've done.
So next time you are faced with a situation where you are scared to see what is going to happen, just remember, once you leap, you'll find you wish you'd done it sooner.