by Camelia Miron Skiba
I recently had two friends who moved from Phoenix to New York. My first reaction when I heard what they planned to do was to . . . freak out. WHAT??? You’re leaving everything behind and move away? And not just move away, move all the way across country. Anxiety and fear for them stayed with me for a while and it took a herculean effort on my part not to make a fool of myself and grip their sleeves and scream, “Don’t go!”
Them, as if a bulb went on I had a revelation: oh, geez, I did exactly the same. Not only did I leave everything behind, I moved across the world. How was their decision any different than mine? And why was it ok for me and wasn’t ok for them?
I think in part I was scared for them mostly because of the unknown. How are they gonna find their way around? Would they make friends? Would they fit in? Would they find jobs?
Then, as the revelation became brighter and brighter I realized that—despite my concerns—my friends made the right decision based on whatever their reason was. The same way I made my decision almost 11 years to date to pack my son and dog and walk out of my brand new home, promising career, hug my parents goodbye and embark on a brand new adventure. Not to the next neighborhood, not to the next city or next country. All the way on the other side of the globe.
What did I have to lose? A lot. But had I not done it, I would’ve never met all the amazing people here in the States, some of them becoming incredible friends. I would’ve never put pen to paper and write one book after another, following my childhood dream of becoming a published author. I would’ve never work on my fear of public speaking (which thanks to Toastmasters International, now I’m loving it). I would’ve never got over another fear of mine of driving the freeway. True, it took me ten years to work on it, but the other day as I was returning from a book club where I presented my military romance titled A World Apart, I drove on 3 different freeways to make it home. Me, the girl whose pulse jumped only thinking about freeways! And yes, I’m officially cured of this fear too.
The thing is . . . fear is crippling. If you let it dictate what you should and what you shouldn’t do, you’ll miss out on so many opportunities. You’ll miss out on a perfect job, the love of your life or conquering the Everest.
So, today and now promise yourself you’ll work on your fears and let go. You’ll freak out, feel vulnerable but that’s okay. It’s part of the healing process. And the best part? You’re halfway there. I promise.