Fear and Consolation

“Being frightened is an experience you can’t buy.” Anthony Price

Do you ever think about your fears?

I feel like lately all I do is think about the things I am afraid of or afraid to do. What’s wrong with me?! Building a business scares me. I tell everyone I don’t have anything to sell. I tell everyone I don’t know how to sell even if I had something to sell. People around me have really good ideas, tangible goods, sound plans, and I have…nothing. Honestly, I’m just not looking hard.

I write every day, but this is certainly not a daily blog. I’m struggling to get my thoughts transcribed once a week. Driving to Birmingham two weeks ago scared me. What if my car breaks down? What if I have a seizure and my family has no idea where I am? What if someone in my family gets ill, and me coming to comfort them will save them, but I can’t get there fast enough because I’m 5 hours away? What if? What if? What if? Luckily for me, my desire to get to these images is stronger than my desire to stay in the house and be safe.

Driving to Tennessee this weekend scared me for many of the same reasons. But I wanted to get to those waterfalls. So I went. It’s shockingly easy to get to most places from Atlanta. This time I was on 75 N. Just driving. The cool breeze circulating through my car. I find it truly enjoyable just to drive and be. I listened to a few podcasts, but mainly Sean Wes again. I like this podcast a lot. It’s not necessarily about business alone, but everything all together. The back and forth between Sean and Ben is so much like a conversation I have had with one of my really good friends; it’s just comforting. 

Anyway, I found the first set of waterfalls at Rock Island. Word to the wise, don’t drink 20oz of coffee then pass the Hardees thinking there will be more stores or restaurants once you get closer to Rock Island. There will not be. You have been warned. So the first thing I had to do was run into the campground restrooms. Lesson learned.

So. I get out of the car and was so elated. The first set of falls are right down the steps of the parking lot. Easy peasy. But being the first person there, I was a little afraid to go down the trail because you couldn’t see around the bend. I decided there would be a crazy wood man waiting to knife me, or otherwise harm my delicate being. But I sucked it up, and went into the woods. And this is what I got. Awesomeness. I left pretty satisfied with myself. 

Waterfall at Rock Island, Tennesee. Using slow shutter speed, water smoothed out. Lush greens
Waterfall at Rock Island, Tennessee

Then I traveled on to Fall Creek Falls. Smug as I was I ventured down the path in search of Buzzard’s Roost. I did not know that its not there. It’s in the Fall Creek Falls park, but not at the actual falls themselves. No worries, I was there, and I knew I was close, so I decided to walk down the path to the nature center to find out where exactly this mysteriously beautiful tree was. From the parking lot of Fall Creek Falls, the nature center is .8 miles. Not a terrible hike but it lies at the bottom of the gorge across….a rope bridge. Ok, no problem, I thought, I had to cross a suspension rope bridge at Tallulah Gorge so I stepped on, and no sir…it was totally different. This bridge swayed and bounced, and was just the most terrifying thing I’ve ever been on. So I got off and went back to the bank. Soon enough there were plenty of people I could let in front of me trying to get to the water to swim.

Finally, there were only six of us left. No one left to get in front of me and enjoy their day. The family who was in line started on the bridge, then they all stopped and turned around motioning for me to join them. I stepped onto the bridge and the combined weight of the family and their exuberance started bounding the bridge. I lost my shit. The mom of the family then came back and took my hand to help me across. I was crying walking over this bridge. Crying! Ugh, so embarrassed.

At least I got to the nature center. Had I surrendered to the fear I would not have known that Buzzard’s Roost was nowhere close to where I was. Great. Then I found out I had to go back across the bridge to get out of this part of the park. And I lost my shit again. And again, had to accept help across, tears streaming. Embarrassed twice in a day! Hooray!

It was worth it. The picture in and of itself isn’t great. But I can see what I’m going to do when, yes when, I go back once the leaves have fallen off. It just looks ominous.

Buzzard's Roost. Fall Creek Falls, Tennessee

I’m left with a lingering question, though. What will happen if I ever go back to Fall Creek Falls and trek to the gorge? Did I conquer my fear like the sweet mom told me as she helped me across the first time? Have I strenthened my resolve? I don’t know. Is it worth me driving 3.5 hours to find out? Well….I guess we’ll see what the future holds.