breaking through the looking glass

i have numerous fears. i can even list them alphabetically. but i won’t bore you. suffice to say some are very small, teeny…. borderline insignificant, and some are larger… more meaningful, like the one i’m dealing with now. right now. this very second.

i am afraid – petrified – of heights.
i am not afraid of tall men or women, but i am afraid of standing on the observation deck of the empire state building. i did that once and boy oh boy — the unbelievable physical and emotional fear that enveloped me was outstanding. i felt as frail and as fragile as a piece of paper.

right now, i am staring out the window of an apartment on the 43rd floor.
the windows are massive.
ken and i stayed in nyc last night so that we could be in the city today. we have generous and gracious and loving friends who offered us their apartment.
the thing about fear is that sometimes i think we try and get rid of the fear, so we do things to push the fear down or aside, or in a drawer. thinking if we cover it up, it’ll disappear. it doesn’t for me — it always seems to re-emerge. like a bad date. there is no where for me to push this fear. this place is wall to ceiling windows. the only place i wouldn’t feel scared is if i stayed in the bathroom, but that just doesn’t feel like much of an option.
so i sit here, writing this blog, staring out the huge window as the wind blows and hollers, and i can even see a few birds that obviously have no problem what so ever with height, snow seems to be falling, and the window is huge and i can hear my heart beating.

but today i did something i wouldn’t normally do with something i’m afraid of. i looked it smack in the face, and thought, hmmmm…. i’m gonna sit real close to this window, and i’m gonna write my blog, and i’m gonna share my fear, and i bet someone out there is gonna say: “thanks, amy” for pressing your face right up to that looking glass and cracking it just a teeny bit.

and isn’t that what it’s really all about — giving someone else courage.

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2 Responses to “breaking through the looking glass”

  1. Debbie

    thank god you don’t have earthquakes in NY. you wanna talk about fear? i’ve worked in high rises all my life and one day back in the 1980’s happened to be on the 51st floor of my building in L.A. when a freaking earthquake struck. i almost died of a coronary right then and there! it was horrifying! the next day i went to work, scared out of my mind so i was on valium. i told my boss that if i acted weird … that was why. but that valium leveled me right off and allowed me to feel NORMAL. but i tell you, it is MY BIGGEST FEAR. being at work in a skyscraper when the BIG ONE hits. UGH.


  2. Charlotte

    Heights are one of my biggest fears too. I stay near the wall at Elevated train platforms. My knees buckle if I have to walk a flight of stairs that have no backs and I can see through them. If I’m in an elevator and it shakes slightly or it takes too long for the door to open after it stops, all the blood rushes out of my face and I’m white knuckling it the rest of the way up or down. I’m certain the cable is going to break at I will go plummeting. I wonder, “If i jump up just before the elevator hits the basement floor, will it keep me from breaking every bone in my body? Will I live?”

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