On my 26th birthday I realized that I had, somewhere along the way, gotten quite fearful. It’s hard to pinpoint something like that, you know? At what point did I start to choose to back away, to not try, to give up, to hide? Was it a series of small decisions, seemingly so insignificant I didn’t even notice, or was it a jarring moment of giving in that felt so good I didn’t even realize I was changing? I used to raise my gauntlet to the challenges, stare my own fears in the face with an unflinching glare of determination, and then do whatever the hell I wanted to.

But then I thought maybe this is just how I remember being–and that it isn’t true at all. That my reckless behavior was just that: reckless. Not defiant or thought-out or intentional, but a flimsy side-effect of wanting to do everything however I wanted to. Maybe I’ve been afraid the whole time, and the way in which I’ve hidden it has just changed to something a little less obvious.

It’s just so much more exhausting to be afraid. I’m tired of being tired of it.


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