There has been a recurring theme to my conversations with friends these days who are going through tough times. They look at me, knowing my life the way they do and ask me: “how did you do it? How did you go thru all that for so long and be ok? You made it look easy. Things happen & you just move thru it.”
How how how how how? Over and over and over I get asked how!
Bluntly, I never let fear drive the bus. Mom always tells the story of when I was younger, “Elif would always run toward fear, not away. That way, it couldn’t scare her anymore.”
You can’t live your life if you live in fear. You just can’t. Is it easy? No. Does it truly and utterly suck sometimes? Yes. But you have to do it anyway. There have been time that fear has sucked the air from my lungs and knocked me in my ass, wondering how I would get back up. There is always something to pull yourself back up. You just have to look around.
I revisited Elizabeth Gilbert’s book “Big magic” today and she sums it up perfectly:
“Dearest Fear: Creativity and I are about to go on a road trip together. I understand you’ll be joining us, because you always do. I acknowledge that you believe you have an important job to do in my life, and that you take your job seriously. Apparently your job is to induce complete panic whenever I’m about to do anything interesting—and, may I say, you are superb at your job. So by all means, keep doing your job, if you feel you must. But I will also be doing my job on this road trip, which is to work hard and stay focused. And Creativity will be doing its job, which is to remain stimulating and inspiring. There’s plenty of room in this vehicle for all of us, so make yourself at home, but understand this: Creativity and I are the only ones making any decisions along the way. You are allowed to have a seat, and you are allowed to have a voice, but you are not allowed to have a vote. You’re not allowed to touch the roadmaps, to suggest detours, or fiddle with the temperature. Dude, you’re not even allowed to touch the radio. But above all else, my dear old familiar friend, you are not allowed to drive.”