I’m no longer afraid of riding my bike near busy streets, far from my home,
Of stepping on to the pedals and adventuring out–
And even doing this all alone.
I’m not afraid to stay in hotels,
Even when you call this foolish, frivolous.
I do not doubt my choices.
I’m not afraid of doctors,
The heaviness of an uncertain waiting room–
For psychiatrists, dentists, physicians ready to treat me.
I can handle.
I am strong enough to handle a trip to a place where I don’t know the language.
Taxis, trains and stumbling in a sort of deafness.
I’ve conquered things.
Being single for 30 Christmases.
A flood of marriage and baby announcements.
I won’t drown.
I can stomach job loss and broken friendships
An old best friend, roommate, church acquaintance –
I can juggle 5 children and not crumble under their tears and ceaseless demands– for a confident night. Maybe even two.
I am not afraid of giant mountains.
Hiking up through the snow.
I did this without a partner.
Some fears grow larger:
Poverty, childlessness and lifelong singlehood.
I’ve excused the yearnings for fame, glamour, and adoration.
I didn’t give up my dream for a dog.
I manage a home, a pet, have worked since 15.
I’m not afraid of stillness, sleep, seeing untouchable joy.
I’m not afraid of trying sports and playing piano, and looking foolish and moving on.
I’m not afraid of the outcome.
I am afraid of never trying or challenging these monsters head on.