Confession time: there are a bunch of things that freak me out. I’d really love to pretend that I am always cool, calm and collected, but put a hairy spider on my head or sit me in front of a tv with Claymation (ie. Chicken Run and Wallace and Gromit- just gives me the heebie jeebies) and I am bound to run faster than Miley Cyrus from her Disney contract. Something else that really freaks me out though is being out of my comfort zone, like in a room full of people I don’t know.
Now when I say I get freaked, it’s not just that I get a few butterflies. One of two scenarios generally play out. First scenario: I forget what words are and that I can make them with my mouth, leaving me to be the unusually tall girl lingering in conversations I’m not a part of.
While that may seem pretty awkward, the second scenario is much, much worse. Nervous Cassie who can find her tongue, tends to say really, really strange and embarrasing things. Example? One time, this really good looking guy that I’d noticed for a few weeks started talking to me, so the 'freak out' started. Not wanting to be the creepy mute, apparently the only thing I could find to talk about was head lice and next thing I knew, I was going into great detail about how I had nits throughout the majority of my primary school life... Sad thing is, I was nearly 22 at the time of this freak out.
Clearly I can’t always be trusted to keep it together. It would be fairly easy for me to avoid these situations in life- extended trips to the toilet work well, or, being an adult now, I can generally just decide to not go to things where I might feel uncomfortable or don’t have an ‘entourage’. Thing is, I’ve noticed that if I can push through the discomfort, a lot of times, good things happen.
Now, my comfort zone is pretty small and it is unbelievably safe there. But I never seem to meet new people there or learn cool things and exciting, unpredictable things just NEVER happen in my comfort zone.
This week I had the chance to go to the other side of the country and meet some pretty important people. I’m not gonna lie, it was super freaky for me and one of these things involved me in a room full of people I didn’t know. But as awkward and dorky as I probably was thanks to my nerves, I got to meet some really cool people who I would NEVER normally meet.
You see, sometimes things freak us out because they are dangerous and we know they won’t end well, such as anything to do with hairy spiders or a dark alley. It’s good that we stay away from these things, I think they call that kind of 'freak out' a survival instinct!
But a lot of times, there are good things on the other side of the 'freak out'.
Sometimes, there are cool new friends, or a sport you never knew you liked or a side of yourself that you’ve never seen…I’m still surprising myself!
Being brave doesn’t mean that nothing freaks you out, it just means that you value what’s on the other side of the 'freak out' more than being comfortable all the time.
When something really freaks me out, I have to tell myself that it’s ok to feel freaked out, it’s probably even a little normal, but what matters is what I do with the 'freak out'. If I avoid the situation, I’m saying that fear is bigger than me- and I hate that.
If I confront the fear, I’m proving that I am stronger than the fear - I like that. Whether you feel like it or not, you're always stronger, you just might need help!
Confronting may be doing that thing that freaks you out or it may be asking for help with how to deal with it. Either way, you come out on top.
P.S. If 'freaking out' is something that happens a lot though, like just the thought of doing certain things makes you really anxious and you start to feel it in your body (breathing, nausea etc), you might want to read this article here and chat with someone you trust, like your teacher or chaplain or something.
(sorry for my snake picture…I couldn't bring myself to post a picture of spiders!!!)