FEARLESS Summer

As a child I was ~fearless~! Fearless and lacking self-preservation to a degree that terrified my mother and landed me in the ER many, many times.

I had no qualms about introducing myself to strangers, singing and dancing in grocery stores, putting bras on my head and popping out from the middle of clothing racks in the mall. I’d scramble up a climbing wall like a monkey and fling myself from the top. If this wasn’t the time I learned to fly, I was always confident it would happen as soon as the cast came off or the stitches came out.

Getting bit by two dogs didn’t stop me from patting the next one. People who didn’t appreciate my less-than-coordinated dancing or enthusiastic-but-off-key singing were dismissed with a shrug. And if you hurt my feelings or displeased me – you heard about it, along with the whole neighborhood.

Somewhere along the way I lost this. I grew a skin of fear, which all too quickly coated and subdued my impulsive courage. Risk factors begin to weigh more than potential benefits. Potential consequences dominated potential gain, and soon all I could see were the consequences. A big change since I’d always been an act-first, time-out-later type of kid.

By high school I was too scared to learn to drive and didn’t get my permit until after my 17th birthday. I missed countless opportunities because I was too terrified to return a phone call, attend a party, take a chance outside my safe group of friends.

I’m an adult now – but I still have phobias that trap me:

*I won’t sleep with the closet door open for fear of being sucked into the Poltergeist-dimension.

*I stopped swimming laps at nighttime after reading a Mary Higgins Clark book where the heroine was drown by a murderer wearing SCUBA gear and waiting at the bottom of her pool.

*Order pizza? No way. Not after that time when I was 14 and babysitting and the man at Sal’s screamed and accused me of being a pranker because I didn’t know the address and had to check a piece of mail.

*I wussed out of Jet-skiing because of what happened when I tried moped’ing in Italy.

*Zoomba? I’ve been invited by four different friends, but it sounds too much like dance class and we all know how that turned out…

*I’m terrified of offending people, so when my feelings are hurt, I swallow it with a smile.

But NOT anymore. I’m declaring this my Summer of Fearless and I’m reclaiming some of the bravery I’ve been hemorrhaging for far too long.

So DARE me. CHALLENGE me. Ask me a WHAT-IF that requires me to do, not just think.

And when I go to wimp out, freeze me with a look and threaten to take away my night light and security blanket if I don’t comply.

I may not be that fearless little imp anymore, but maybe if I do a good enough impression of her for long enough, maybe it won’t feel so much like pretending.

13 comments


  • ” If this wasn’t the time I learned to fly, I was always confident it would happen as soon as the cast came off or the stitches came out.”

    BEST. LINE. EVER.

    Oh man I can relate, and I LOVE your idea to try and regain your fearlessness.

    I dare you to go into a new restaurant, and to let the waiter/chef pick your dinner without your consulting the menu.

    I challenge you to do cartwheels in the park, or a yard :p

    I dare you to do a cannonball.

    June 22, 2009
  • Victoria – LOL! I don’t know that I expected people to literally DARE me, but I LOVE that you did! Cartwheels DONE, and the other two are will be done ASAP.

    Who’s next? C’mon, I DARE you 😉

    June 22, 2009
  • I dare you to head into NYC on 03 July to hang with Sharon and myself. =)

    June 23, 2009
  • Irish, I’d love to, but that’s St.Matt and my 5th anniversary. I’d have to be more selfish than fearless to not be HIS E.F. that day. Have fun.

    Man, now I feel like I need a new DARE since I so failed that one 😉

    June 23, 2009
  • I think you succeeded in my challenge for today!!! Autobiography – DONE. …but what exactly DID happen in Italy? LOL

    June 23, 2009
  • Emily – phew! I thought you were going to challenge me to get to CO to see you… *ponders* Wait, do you want to change your dare? *wink*

    Um, moped incident: the condensed version. Me + 2 more coordinated friends taking mopeds from Florence to Sienna. Crazy car & twisty hills. My moped flipped and spun across the road Mission Impossible style… oh yeah, and I was still underneath it. There was fainting and lots of blood & La Polizia &…

    Oh, just dare me to write a blog about it!

    June 23, 2009
  • I dare you to blog about you…and you totally need to since you failed my first one. Even if it is for a good reason…

    June 23, 2009
  • Irish – um, don’t I ALWAYS blog about ~me~? Is there something in particular I should write? 😉

    June 24, 2009
  • doh…so that thought went 1/2 finished in my post about. hmm…now I can’t think of what it was. darn it. will have to go sleep on it and I’ll get back to you. Until then feel free to write about any of your lovely growing up anecdotes. Love them. =)

    June 26, 2009
  • SLEEP WITH THE CLOSET DOOR OPEN, BB. SET YOURSELF FREE!

    Actually, no, don’t. For that is a phobia I can understand. I too must do the same (less to do about scary dimensions and more about the monsters that totally have to be in there).

    I dare you to get one t-shirt, some sparkly puff paint and write FEARLESS on that t-shirt IN THE PUFF PAINT and then take a picture of you in said puff painted shirt. It will be ~symbolic~ 😀 ~*~

    June 30, 2009
  • Oh man, I second Courtney’s idea.

    June 30, 2009
  • Great DARE Courtney! I’m working on that shirt – I’ve got special plans for it!

    July 1, 2009
  • July 21, 2009

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