Cold feet syndrome.

13 Oct 2014

Les wrote a great post on embracing change recently. He pipped me to the post (and his was infinitely wiser) but still, here is my offering...

Age 8. I'm invited for tea (dinner) after school at a friend's home. As her dad ascends the stairs, pretending to be a monster, I burst into tears and ask if my daddy can come and pick me up now (I'd only just arrived). I wanted to go home.

Age 11. A friend is having a sleep over. Driving up there, my dad knows well what's coming next (oh we'd been here many times before): (tearful) "Dad, can you pick me up later? I don't mind staying for the afternoon but tonight I just want to come home."

Age 13. Friends of the family invite me on a trip to Ireland. I'm excited! 4am, mum wakes me up for the Liverpool to Dublin boat. "Mum (again tearful), I don't think I can go. I just want to stay at home."

Age 21. 48hrs before a month of traveling in Central America: I pick up a dastardly virus. My body is saying, "You want to stay at home."

You wouldn't think that I love challenge and change would you? Nor would you think all I ever really wanted was to live in far flung deepest darkest Africa!

Ah, but we are all a "tale of two cities" are we not? I'm brave and strong; I'm fragile and fretful. I'm all gung-ho and gregarious yet I'm quiet and pensive.

Some of those moments of fear as I was growing up worked out well, others I backed out of, but all I ever really needed to do was to accept and to nurture the feelings.

Acceptance of feelings is something I've written about often. Whenever I actually manage to do it however (like when facing Cold Feet Syndrome), it never ceases to amaze me the magic that occurs within.

Accept the terror (or sadness, or insert whatever the feeling you're feeling here), and accept that it's probably very normal to be feeling whatever we do, and then the "city" within us can set about putting its positive residents to work.

Age 36. First few nights of living alone. Will I be OK? Do I want to go home? Ah, but I am home!

As Jon Kabat-Zinn's book is entitled (I can't say I've read it but love the title): Wherever You Go, There You Are.


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