I fell in love. It was not something I had expected to do. It was a day where I wanted to accomplish a fear that was holding me back, during a time, where I’m desperately trying to move forward. Obstacles seem to be everywhere. Or I least, I thought. It was a beautiful sunny Sunday and after working Saturday and carting the kids around Friday and Saturday night, I claimed, Sunday was for me. It started out with confusion, about what I wanted to do that day. As I ran down the list of things that would bring me joy, I narrowed it down. I wanted to accomplish a fear that’s been lingering for years. I asked my son to join me and he was up for the adventure of the day. Destination Mt. Tom – Bray Tower.
Over seven years ago, I climbed this tower with the help of a close friend who stood by me, encouraging, guiding, supporting, holding my hand, patient as I took each step to the top. Since that day, I have tried countless times to climb the tower and have been unsuccessful. Fear and panic has stopped me on those steps year after year. I always left, feeling unsupported and exposed by the structure of this metal tower, defeated. Today was going to be different, though. Today I was not going to allow this fear to get me. I was going to feel supported. I was going to feel secure, whatever it took. I wanted so badly to make it to the top. Driving there I kept rehearsing in my head over and over, I am supported, I am supported, I am supported.
As we reached our destination, we parked the car and got out. My son immediately ran up the stairs to make the climb to the top, unaffected by fear or obstacles. There were people on the platform enjoying the view, I began my journey up. I reached the first landing and was greeted with fear. I tried desperately to move to the next step of the second landing and was immediately pushed back feeling pressure on my head as if someone was holding me down. Panic filling my lungs and anxiety tightening my chest, I proceeded back down to the ground and faced disappointment. I looked up as the people were coming down and I envied them for being so brave. For feeling supported. For having no obstacles. As they safely made it down from the tower, they were all discussing their joys around the view. As I stood a few feet away watching others take the trip up and down with ease, I thought, I want to do this. I do, but I can’t. I just can’t do it. I am afraid.
I walked over to my car and watched this couple pull up and get out to take the climb. I watched in silence and observed them. The young woman wanted to climb up the tower and she couldn’t. She made it to the first landing as well, she said the same thing, “I can’t do it”. She was too afraid. She began explaining to her boyfriend, justifying her fears. The boyfriend said its ok you don’t have to do it. Some people have fears. He kept looking over at me for acknowledgement like he was being a stand up guy. I didn’t engage. I remained still. Listening, absorbing their every word. I thought, why. Why aren’t you asking if she needs help? Why aren’t you holding her hand? Why aren’t you encouraging her? Was he supporting her or giving in to her fear? They walked away. I didn’t want her to walk away. I wanted her to stay. I wanted to tell her to do it with me, that I was afraid too. I kept silent as they walked back to their car and left. At that moment, I thought about “my story” and what I would write about. I thought about this very moment and how I would explain my ending of the story. I recall the words in my head so clearly. “Well, I wish I could tell you I made it to the top of the tower, but I didn’t”. As I was thinking of what I would say and how I could justify my fears, I suddenly stopped and realized I didn’t want to end “my story” that way. I wanted to end the story with, I did it!
My son yelled from the top of the tower, do you want to leave now? I replied, no! I’m not done trying! I climbed to the first landing again and this time, I advanced up 4 more stairs. As my son demonstrated the loose bars and shaking the railing, I immediately freaked and quickly went back down to the first landing. I stood there holding on tight to the railing, telling myself, I am supported. You can do this. I stood their frozen in my stance trying to be patient while mentally encouraging myself. My hands were starting to get cold and my son was offering a few inspiring words and shushed him. I needed silence. A few moments later, which felt like an eternity, I felt this overwhelming strength of 100 Unicorns flow through me. Without delay, I began to walk up each step slowly, methodically, step after step not looking down. Fear was nowhere in sight. Obstacles no longer existed. I was making the climb up. My son was at the top of the tower excited for me, as he exclaimed, I was done! While taking the last few steps, I questioned him, are you sure I don’t have one more landing? I couldn’t believe I was done. I was so focused on climbing each step I didn’t even notice I had made it to the top. As I stepped on the tower platform, I began to cry as tears of joy overcame me as my son, screamed, “You made it Mom! You did it!”
As I was looking at the view, I thought about that young woman and her fear and how she was justifying it. I realized why I was silent and couldn’t tell her I wanted to help her. You see, as much as I wanted to, I had to help myself first. I had to realize that I was my only fear. I was my only obstacle. I wished she was still there so I could help her make it to the top, but she was gone.
I learned a lifetime of lessons while making that climb and as I stood enjoying the view, I thought of a few. I learned I could encourage myself. I learned I am supported not just by me, but by others. I can hold my own hand and if I am patient enough with myself, I can remove all obstacles and most of all fear will no longer hold me back.
As we were driving home, listening to a song on the radio, the magnitude of what just occurred hit me. It came into realization, I did it! I was extremely proud of myself. The accomplishments I have made in my life to bring me to where I am today. I learned life lessons on this adventure but more importantly, I walked away with love. I fell in love with me today. It wasn’t something I expected to do. I set out to accomplish a fear and remove an obstacle or so I thought, but I came home with something far greater. I came home with love. I did it!
Affirm: I love myself!
By: The Inspirologist