In the popular Divergent book series by Veronica Roth (book 3, Allegiant, hit my Kindle this morning! Squee!), society is separated into factions depending on individual strengths. In the Dauntless faction, learning to overcome fears is a major part of succeeding. In training, those who pledge themselves to Dauntless submit themselves to a fear landscape, where they are plunged virtually into their deepest, darkest fears, which they must overcome in order to succeed. As the trainees grow and change, their fears change with them–just like in real life, as we grow and change, our priorities grow and change.
What’s important to us today may not be what was important to us last year.
I have found that my fears have changed significantly since having children. I would engage in risky behavior before having kids–I totally would have gone bungee jumping!–but now? Capital N, capital O, NO! Too scary, too risky, too death-defying for me. Maybe one day when my kids are grown, but yeah, most likely not. The fear of death, the fear of falling, the fear of heights are too real for me.
I face my fear of heights head-on every year when we go to the fair, through the Ferris wheel.
You know, that harmless, benign, slow-moving giant behemoth of creaking metal that leaves you stranded at the top while passengers load and unload? The one where if it were a little windy (like, say, you lived in Oklahoma) or someone decided to swing the car you’re riding in without a seatbelt, you have the potential for falling right out and crashing, quite gracelessly, onto the greasy pavement below?
Yeah, that Ferris wheel.
I ride the Ferris wheel because it makes my family happy. I realize that my fear may be
slightly completely unjustified, and the view from the top of the wheel is unparalleled.
Totally worth the two weeks of mild panic attacks I have prior to going to the fair.
Mari Farthing is co-admin of Oklahoma Women Bloggers. She would totally scale tall buildings for her family, loved ones and occasionally a nice glass of Malbec if it’s been one of those days. Mari blogs at Mari’s Virtual Notebook and Mari’s Edits.