Fear and Optimism

I read this post this morning on a favorite tumblr blog of mine, 18 Miles Per Hour. Some key parts that resonated with me: 1. Fear is superficial and temporary. As it should be. 2. Riding through the world instead of just passing it by. 3. That part about trusting people only to find out that they are being slaves to fear. It’s a frustrating concept. I know I’m guilty of this myself. The biggest take-away from all of this for me: trust yourself.

You know that feeling you get when you’re heading out on your first long, long, difficult ride in a while? As you’re rolling out you’re a little excited and a bit fearful as well? I was in the early, slow, “holy crap I don’t know if I’m ready for this” miles of a steep one a couple days ago and I saw the above street sign.

It was a very “18milesperhour moment” (riding through the world instead of just passing it by) for me to notice this. It was nice. It snapped me back to my usual, optimistic mindset.

And forgive my temporary preachiness but it crystallized something I’ve felt for a while which is this:

Let’s give optimism and hope and possibility a shot. Whether it’s about work or a dinner with friends or hanging out with the kids or anything, let’s do it all while guided by optimism and hope and goodness and let the chips fall where they may. If it all works out, great. If it doesn’t, I’ll bet that it still turned out really well.

I’m not talking about ignorance. I’m not talking about stumbling through life with a stoned, uninformed happiness. Quite the opposite. I’m talking about the contentment and optimism of the informed, wise old person who’s realized that it’s the best way to live life.

It’s just that, anymore, I do not have time for people or companies or anything motivated by fear. I cannot abide it anymore. I simply do not have time for that anymore. I’m human – I get scared, I get upset, I get frustrated. But lately it’s only when I put my trust in someone, only to find that they are still slaves to fear.

With each passing year I find that the only part of me that feels like it’s getting older and weaker is the fear that used to be inside me. And it’s on life support lately. And I couldn’t be happier.

And yeah, the ride was hard but it was insane and beautiful. And the fear was superficial and temporary. As it should be.

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