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Being afraid.

I don't consider myself to be a very fearful person. There's not a ton of things that frighten me. There are things I avoid (spiders, clowns). There are things I dislike (IPAs, mammograms, small talk). But my list of things that I am frightened of is small.

In this new space and place, I have been doing a lot of ruminating on fear and being afraid. Being afraid - you are worried that something undesirable will occur or be done OR that you are unwilling or reluctant to do something for fear of the consequences. I think those two definitions are really interesting. The first is passive. Something is happening to you. The second is active. The onus is on me to act and the unknown consequences drive that action or lack thereof.

Here is what this last year has taught me.

-I did not know to be afraid of a premature birth with no notice and a baby girl in the NICU for 20 days.

-I did not know to be afraid of infidelity and how that would turn me inside out and the world, as I knew it, upside down.

-I did not know to be afraid of divorce and the financial instability that can accompany it. Like a freakin unwanted and incurable rash in my case. (Scratch that. Unwanted? Yep. Incurable? Eff no.)

-I did not know to be afraid of being a single mom to three kids.

I didn't know to be afraid of these things. I didn't know they were coming. I couldn't plan for them. I couldn't be proactive. I had to be reactive and do my best. And what I learned is that my success rate in passive fear is 100%. My baby girl is a year old. Strong, beautiful and perfect. Infidelity is one of the worst. I survived it. Divorce and financial muck. Surviving. Being a single mom. Surviving. And sometimes, may I say, thriving.

It's the second definition that is the doozy.

Here is the list of things I am afraid of that I have power over. This success rate? 0%. Zeee-row. Because I am afraid to do anything for fear of the (perceived) consequences. Curious?

-Being an Director with Stella & Dot. Why?

+People will judge me for not having a real job (Wrong. This shit is hard.)

+People think it's a pyramid scheme (Wrong. Educate yourself. I make more money off my personal sales than my team.)

+People think I am wasting my education (Wrong. I have a Bachelors and Masters in teaching. Styling a group of women and mentoring my team feels more like a classroom than when I was working in higher ed.)

Gosh I am giving a lot of people space in my head who don't deserve it. -Writing this blog. Ummm, check!!

+People might think my writing is crap. I don't know how to use commas. (Whatever.)

+People might think I have nothing to say. (Wrong. I do. I exist and I do.)

+People might judge me. Yep. It's coming I am sure. (Oh well.)

-Living life out loud. Unapologetically and joyfully.

+People might wonder who the hell I think I am. (OK.)

+People might gossip. (They probably already do. Be nice. That Golden Rule thing.)

I survived all the truly fearful situations of my past year that caught me off guard and that stole my breath and stopped my heart. And still I rise.

This year?

Judge my joy. It's contagious!

Read my blog. It's funny and real and ME.

Watch my team and career with Stella & Dot take off. Joy in my heart and money in my account.

So here is to the year of NOT being afraid of the things I can control. You know what? People are gonna talk. As Reba would say, let's give 'em something to talk about.

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