Category: fear

Fearless

Children fall well. And often. They skin knees and bruise elbows, but generally they come out rather better than an adult would in the same situation. When children fall, they just fall. They don’t resist as much. They don’t fear as much. Their limbs are looser, they break less bones. Children, and drunk people. They don’t know any better. When adults fall, memories of so much previous pain flash through their heads as they stiffen and fall. Break.

I’ve been taking archery lessons. In the past two weeks, I’ve shot a lot of arrows. It’s an amazing feeling. I feel like a badass, when I release that arrow and it shoots into the target with whomp. It wasn’t until my 9th or 10th arrow that I release the bow string and it hit my left arm, stinging and almost immediately bruising. In that moment, I lost some of my badass-ness. My fearlessness. From that moment, every arrow I nocked I paused to overthink where my left elbow was, to wonder if I was going to hit myself again. I told myself I needed to go back to being fearless. Yes, it hurt. But not so much that it should hold me back. It’s a human instinct to avoid pain.

It’s been almost four years since I wrote this post about being afraid to fall. This morning, Lindz and I were talking about my injury, and the children we saw skating a few weeks ago. She said she wished she could still be like that. Fearless.

I wish I could be like that in many aspects of my life, I said.

I feel like with each painful memory, physical or emotional, I close myself off a little more. I find myself wishing for fearlessness. To jump, run, shoot as if it won’t hurt. To live like that, unafraid of pain. Because the pain passes. The bruises fade. Life goes on.

And it would be much more exciting if I were more fearless.

La tour Eiffel

The Eiffel Tower, by me

#30. Climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower.

The first time I went to Paris, it was freezing.

Our beloved teachers had said that it was going to be warm in France, “like Spring!” They were wrong. It snowed. I brought a spring jacket, on their advice, and froze the entire time. We bought hats and mitts underneath the Eiffel Tower to keep warm.

There was almost no one around when we got to the Tower, at least nothing like the crowds you see in movies or hear about from friends. The wait wasn’t terribly long. We walked up to the first level… where it was extra freezing and, in my mind, terribly high.

You see, I’m afraid of heights. I try really hard not to be. I’ve been trying to conquer this.

I didn’t go up to the top of the Eiffel Tower that day, but when I wrote my list of 100 Things to Do Before I Die, I include “Climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower.” Because the cold and the heights kept me from doing it the first time and I sincerely regretted it.

So two weeks ago, when I finally returned to Paris, I simply had to go up the Tower. The friends I was with didn’t really want to go up, but luckily it turned out that I could drag my friend Steph, who is living in France right now and was visiting for the day, up to the top with me.

I remember the climb being very tiring, even just to the first level, the first time. I guess I’m in better shape now, because it didn’t hurt nearly as much. And we were lucky enough to get beautiful sunny weather, too, at about 12 degrees Celsius. (Only one week later than the week six years ago, can you say global warming?)

I had to hold on to the railing a bit too tightly when we got to the top. My knees were a little wobbly. But I did it!

Here’s Steph and I at the top!

me and stephy at the top of the Eiffel Tower

Ottawa is only 5,662 km away!

only 5662 km from home!

I’m glad I finally got a chance to do this - another step towards conquering my fear of heights and another (the 29th!) thing to cross of my list of 100 things.

Listography

I make lists when I can’t sleep. Books I want to read. Places to go. Names. Things. Colours. Words that start with L.

listography by lisa nola

I got this for Christmas. And I am writing an autobiography in lists.

List your biggest fears. Apocalypse. Spiders. Death.

List the countries you’ve visited. Ireland. France. England. Scotland. U.S.A. Dominica Republic. (Note: add more soon.)

List the people you’ve lived with. Jess. Chris. Alaina. Valerie. Rosie. Kristen. Taylor.

List your character flaws. Condescending. Judgmental. Intolerant. Selfish. Impatient.

List your guilty pleasures. Chocolate chips. Fried chicken. Disney Channel movies. Lifetime movies. TLC. Nutella with a spoon.

List things you think everyone should do if money is not an issue. Get amazing hair cuts. Order dessert. Live abroad. Learn.

List the things people should remember you for. Cheesy jokes. Words. (I’m stuck there…)

Something about making lists calms me. In the same way equations in math class used to. It’s a formula. A process. There is no interpretation, no overthinking.

This is a good time of year for lists. I will write a few more before January 1st.