Rules of the Road #4: Fear
Lot of things been weighing on me recently, and fear is a popular topic. It's been almost a year since I started this website, and I can't say I've achieved all of my goals. I haven't gained a massive following. Haven't produced a lot of truly original content. Hell, sometimes I haven't even enjoyed the experience (beginner's tip: writing is hard). What I can say, however, is that I've learned a lot about what is driving my life.
Since I was a kid I've always been afraid of something, and I've never been able to shake it. When I was in elementary school I realized that eventually I would die, and it terrified me. Throughout High-School I worked hard not out of intrigue in classes, but because I was afraid of the humiliation of below-average grades. Even over the last 12 months I've considered myself ready for the new adventures life brings, but equally afraid of the fallout if something goes wrong. Even as I go to work now, there are days where I show up solely because I'm afraid of what my life would be without income and stability. These are bad types of fear.
Not all fear is bad though.
A few weekends ago, like just almost everyone else, I watched the SNL 40 special. An awesome tribute to an awesome show. Really remarkable to think about all the great comedians who were on that show, and all they went to do. As I'm sure was planned, they ran through a few of the classic sketches and didn't push the limits. No need to make this type of celebration noteworthy for the wrong reasons. The only shocking sight, which I sort-of knew about, was Chevy Chase. He had a brief on stage segment, and man did he look awful. Old, incoherent, overweight. Not a good combo Mr. Griswold:
Seeing Chevy like that made me, above all else, afraid that I will one day decay to that level. What I realized, however, is that we're all going to be past our prime at some point. The reason we're talking about Chevy Chase at all is because of what he did when he was much younger. When the brain was fresh, the body was strong, and energy was high. I feel, at 25, that I'm in that spot now. I'm young. Strong. Capable. My story hasn't been fully written, but I have the ability to pen the chapters. There is no reason for me to waste time, and I should be motivated by that very same fear I felt when I saw Chevy Chase.
Ultimately, I'm not going to be able to remove fear from my life. I've accepted that reality. I can use fear to do good, and to serve a purpose. When I'm fat and old I don't want to say "man I wish I could go back in time 30 years". I'll be saying "man I'm glad I decided to turn up the volume 30 years ago, it lead me to where I am now".