By Laura Drake
Today, I thought I'd share with you my latest goal - To Live Without Fear.
Yeah, I know, it's ambitious, but you have to admit, it's a good thing to shoot for! Follow me here, and see if you're game to try it!
Twenty-six years ago, when I met Alpha Dog, we spent a lot of time on his motorcycle. I hadn’t ridden one before, and I found it exhilarating. And terrifying. The world rushed by, faster than I was able to take it in. As hard as I tried to capture the details, many flew past, unnoticed. But what if they were critical things? Essential things, keeping me safe?
Trust me, you’ll never feel as powerless as when you’re perched on a motorcycle in L.A. traffic, clinging to the broad back in front of you, having no control over your fate. You realize how fragile your body is when you’re surrounded by huge hunks of metal, whizzing within inches of you at seventy miles an hour.
I spent most of those first months in a frantic state of hyper-awareness, muscles locked, my shoulders pulled up to my ears.
But, then there were the other moments:
- In the badlands of Utah, the delicate multicolored striations in the crumbling cliffs alongside the road made me wish I knew how to dye cloth to be able to recreate the patterns on fabric.
- Coming around a bend in a highway to a black and white paint horse standing in a green meadow, silhouetted against a backdrop of black thunderclouds, his mane and tail whipping in the wind.
- Held up in small town, in the middle of Nowhere, Wyoming, while they shut down the Main Street for a Fourth of July parade, bunting-festooned hay wagons carrying the local beauty queens
Both sides of that motorcycle experience taught me a lot about life. You know the term, “Pushing the Envelope?” My odd brain somehow fashioned that into a philosophical picture in my head.
Imagine that every way we can experience life fits in a rectangle, like an envelope. We can choose where you want to be on that envelope. You can hang on the very edge of the back part, afraid of change coming at you. Or, you can 'hang ten' on the windward edge, bugs in your teeth, laughing into the future.
I think what happens to you in life is going to happen, no matter where you are on the envelope. And if that's true, why not meet it head on – actually looking forward to the next thing?
NO FEAR. That’s my new mantra. I’ve lived too long, and seen too much to live in fear. I’m giving it up – letting it go.
Since July, I've slid into the next chapter in my life: Retirement. I have everything to look forward to. Instead of doing what I have to do to make money, I’m going to be doing what I’d do even if they didn’t pay me – write.
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I have my moments. But that’s all I’ll the time I’ll allow fear to steal from me – moments.
So if you see some old lady flash by you on a bright yellow motorcycle, laughing maniacally, that’s just me, flying on the edge of my envelope.
What do you think? Where are you on the envelope? Are you ready to give up the fear?