Day 6: Don't freak out.

31 Lessons from an Epic Beginner // 6: Don't freak out.

Day 6 of 31 Lessons from an Epic Beginner

Sometimes, it's not so much excuses that keep us from beginning; sometimes it's straight up fear. Feeling nervous about the unknown, or freaking ourselves out with a game of what ifs. I'll let you in on a little secret that I often forget myself: If we played out those what ifs and answered them, we probably wouldn't be so nervous and might actually realize that life goes on.


One of my biggest adjustments when we moved to Florida was the creatures. Anywhere we walked, lizards scattered everywhere, across the sidewalk, up walls, everywhere. One is cute. This many was just flat out creepy.

Even worse was that they somehow found their way into our home. I'm guessing they found the gap in the weather strepping of our back door. I found one when I moved the toaster to clean the crumbs behind it; found another in the window sill of the bathroom; and another running across the floor when Daniel was away and after Brylee had gone to bed. My nerves are on full alert about them even as I type this.

One of my most panicked moments with one of these little guys was when I drove down the busy highway. As I neared an intersection, a little lizard head peeked up through the air vent in the dash of the car. I squealed, Brylee (who wasn't yet two at the time) strapped in her carseat behind me seemed confused.

My eyes darted back and forth between lizard and road, making sure I stayed safe in regards to both. I pushed my foot down a little harder, knowing our destination was coming up and I could run far, far away from this untrustworthy passenger. That's when I learned that lizards can jump. I felt safer when I thought they only crawled. Now this equally scared little guy started hopping around the car, from dash to seat, and back to dash.

My skin crawled, I screamed louder, carefully turning at each intersection and speeding even a little faster into the parking lot. I threw the car in park, flung open my door, and hopped out shaking my arms and hands around as if to shake off something that clung to me. Of course probably shrieking "ew, ew, ew!" in my girliest way possible.

A lady loading her groceries into her car on the other side of the parking lane looked concerned and called out, "Is it a bee?"

I shuttered again for good measure, as I worked on getting Brylee out of the car and avoiding looking in the front seat. "No, it's a lizard!" Which to me, seemed worse. Far worse.

She sighed it away with a bit of a can-you-believe-this-girl smile, "Oh, that's nothing." And she got in her car and pulled away.


I didn't want to admit this, and definitely not in that moment when my blood was still pumping, but she was right. My fear was a little unfounded. I was more spooked by these amphibians with no reason to really be outright afraid.

I had plenty of what ifs that felt like justified fear. What if I stepped on one? What if he had jumped on me while I drove? What if I feel one's nasty scales across my fingertips?!

But, it all sort of deflates when I play it out. The answer to each of those is never death--of me or anyone I love. Not even hurt. Maybe a little discomfort. Maybe a chill up my spine and increased blood pressure. Maybe an embarrassing twinge of PTSD when I recall a flopping, detached tail in our efforts to catch one.

But never was the result so bad to hinder life. To keep me from finding comfort in my own home. Or to stop us from walking around the lovely Cranes Roost. Or to pack up and move back to familiar territory.

Because the truth always becomes apparent: Life goes on. Our fears are often unfounded, and even the craziness of the unknown usually turns out far better than we could hope.


Answer in the comments:

Can you remember being afraid of something that felt paralyzing? What was the worst that happened?

Day 6 of 31 Lessons from an Epic Beginner