Okay, so maybe, if you beat fear out of your life, you won’t get a shiny gold medal.
But you should.
Living in fear is something so many people do every day. And for some, fear is a legitimate reaction to preserve the human race. If you live in Syria, for example. If I lived in Syria, I am all in favor of my nervous system telling to get the hell outta somewhere dangerous.
But in the modern world, I’m not encountering real danger very often. When was the last time the threat of death or even physical harm stopped you from doing anything? Has fear stopped you from getting your eyebrows threaded/giving a speech/joining a circus?
I, being in lovely suburban, middle-class America, decided to go to get my eyebrows threaded one sunny afternoon.
And yet, despite the sun shining (er, rainclouds storming), birds chirping (I mean, the sound of construction workers tearing up the roads), I was wracked with anxiety. I was literally shaking as I drove to the Place Where They Extract My Eyebrow Hairs. I wanted to cry. I was so overwhelmed with fear.
This is something I have done for several years. (Ah, the power of the threader over my upkeep.)
But why? I have, on occasion, ended up with manly eyebrows, and the world has not ended. The process itself is quick and painless, too.
In lieu of an actual medal, I give you a mneumonic to go through. MEDAL: Meditate, Excavate, Detonate, Allocate, Lactate (just kidding…the actual last word is Live, but I really wanted an -ate to finish off the list…ah, well, c’est la vie).
Meditate: Why are you so afraid? Some thought, not much, needs to occur. Be careful not to get too deep into your thoughts, which can lead to melancholy, over-analysis, and some serious Google-searching anxiety cropping up at three am over fears deeply rooted in your childhood. Meditation is not the most important here. Find a reason, settle upon it, and move on! Most anything will do. Realizing that there is a reason, however trite or important, and acknowledging it, is important. In my case, I realized that it was because going to the Place Where They Extract My Eyebrow Hairs reminded me of my younger self, when I hated running into my peers there. It was like going to the Place was openly admitting that I was an ape of hair. An APE!
Excavate: Take those memories out of your head and put them in your current situation. I have hair. So does everyone else. I take pride in taking care of myself, and if I feel great after the process, shouldn’t I feel great before and during the threading as well?
Detonate: Imagine those memories, sticking them in a box, and exploding all the negative feelings and insecurities that (possibly) accompany them. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM.
Allocate: Yes, that time in your life was bad. Instead of ruminating on this, allocate those emotions to a better, more charitable use. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, donate that pity to a cause like girls who can’t afford an education or perhaps contributing to the fund for fallen rangers who have died protecting apes.
Live: Finally, go get your eyebrows threaded/finish that speech/join a circus. You’ve earned your medal.