I used to be afraid of a lot of things.
I was scared of first dates. Of walking into restaurants alone or going to the movies by myself. I was scared to go on job interviews or speak up at meetings.
I was absolutely horrified if I had to explain how I was feeling, or God forbid, if I cried in front of anyone.
I was scared to be honest-- mostly with myself, but also with my friends. I was scared to say no- to relationships that weren't right (what if no one else comes along?), to plans (what if I was missing out?).
But the more I put myself into uncomfortable situations that scared me, the less scarier they became.
I can talk myself out of doing pretty much anything and try to blame it on timing or that my instincts are telling me not to do it, but it always comes back to fear. Of being shaking-in-my-boots-scared to do something
Here's the thing: first dates and interviews are scary...for the first five minutes. Once you get into the groove of conversation, the fear subsides. Being vulnerable and openly weeping in front of friends and strangers gets easier the more you do it. Seriously, try it sometime.
Other relationships come along. Friends still invite you to do things even if you said no to the previous thing they asked about.
It's okay to be scared. It's not okay to let it control the way you life your life.
I'm still terrified of cruise ships, though. Luckily it's something that doesn't impact my daily life-- except when I'm having dinner with friends and the TV at the bar is showing pictures of flooding on a Carnival cruise, causing my stomach to flip.