It never occurred to me before, but I was raised to be afraid.
Maybe you were, too?
From as far back as I can remember, up until the most recent conversation I’ve had with my parents, I’ve been cautioned to be safe. “Give me a ring when you get home!” “Be careful coming home so late!” “Are you keeping your cards in a money belt?!” Of course, this is all perfectly normal – or should I say, “typical,” when we care for someone, we want them to be safe! I’m guilty of doing this to people I love.
Which is why I was terrified to go to New Jersey by myself.
I was absolutely THRILLED to get the chance to see the show we worked on, out in Jersey City, a few months ago. The only scary catch was, I’d be going there all on my own. Taking the PATH train for the first time, all on my own. Walking through the center of town from the station to the venue, all on my own. I was actually really scared about this!
Intellectually, this is absurd! Have you met me? I’m a total badass! I’ve lived on my own, flown across the ocean alone, travelled all across this city on my own for the past ten years! Is New Jersey really that scary?
In the end, guess what? The PATH train was fast. The short walk to the venue was a little rainy, but just that: short. The most eventful thing that happened was that I couldn’t figure out how to insert my MetroCard to the PATH machines (word to the wise: it’s like the JFK AirTrain).
I had a blast in New Jersey, and not only that, I realized something. All that fear I had, all the nerves, all the anxious buildup was for nought. On the contrary, in fact: doing something brand-new all by myself made me feel a strange pride in myself. I oughta walk that path a bit more often.