The last time I flew into SFO I held the hand of a strange woman during takeoff; I feared flying alone. Now, less than two years later, I’m on a flight to SFO again and the two seats beside me are empty. My fear today is different.
My fear is not of a rough flight or navigating through the airport again. My fear lies at the baggage claim after the flight. The moment where I meet the people I will spend the next eight months with. I fear leaving the comfort of my own bed and the voice of my dad. I fear eight months where I don’t know the language, where I don’t know the people, and, really, where I don’t know anything at all.
But the more I reflect on these fears, the more comfortable with them I become. I am already becoming my own comfort.
I conquered my minuscule fear of flying alone to just less than two years ago. Eight months from now, going and living on a different continent won’t be something to fear because it will be something I’ve done before. If that can be conquered in such a short period of time, think about what I will and can do in another year, two years, or five years?
Fear is necessary to being human. Overcoming these small battles are the only way to progress.
The largest battle ahead of me is the one where I remember this. Every difficult thing I face will become easier and eventually all my fears will dissipate and new ones will replace them. But as they keep changing, I will overcome them. It’s a never-ending cycle that creates a brave person. In eight months, who can predict what I will fear?