For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
I am fearless about parking. I believe there will always be a spot for me.
I am fearless when I write indignant letters to my children’s school.
I am fearless when a crisis hits. That’s when I am strongest.
I am usually fearless about writing. Give me a prompt…one word…any word….off I go. When I was at school I spent a lot of time doing after school detentions. I didn’t fear those. I relished the opportunity to be seen as ‘cool’ although I was far from cool. I was in detention for uncool reasons. However the cool guys were in the same room. They looked at me and wondered why I was there. They made me laugh with their fearless antics. I was cool by association.
When the teacher appeared at the door, I had my pen poised in anticipation.
“I want you to write about why one must not be disruptive in class.”
Off my pen went in a flurry. Fearlessly forming arrogant sentences I knew would have the English staff tut tutting. Sarcastically over using the term ‘One must not…because one’s teacher might……’
When I refused to wear the short vomit green sports uniform which revealed my self conscious white teen legs, I fearlessly stood my ground against the teacher’s inquiries.
“Are you doing sport today?”
I would stare defiantly into her face and answer…”No…I’m not.”
To which she had no answer and inevitably I would end up in the form mistress’s office staring into her reflective glasses. I couldn’t see her eyes and she couldn’t see my problem.
“Why don’t you just leave school…you’re wasting your time here.”
I wasn’t fearful of repercussions from my Mum. Mum never went to the school despite constant correspondence from the Principal. The only thing I had to fear was Mum reaching on top of the fridge where she kept the fruit bowl. She also kept the letters from the school and bad reports there.
“I have a bone to pick with you.” She would start.
“But Mum…that teacher is so….or the sports uniform makes me look fat…” and that was usually the end of it.
As a teenager I fearlessly made prank phone calls. My friend and I phoned the local department store, requesting to be transferred from the toy department to towel monogramming.
“Hello?”….doing my best scratchy old ladies voice.
“Yes…how can I help you?”
“My name is Martha…..do you do mmmmmm….mona……monogramming?”
“Yes ma’am…we certainly do.”
“Well it’s my husband Harry’s birthday and I’d like to have a towel mmmmm…….mona……..mona…grammed.”
“Yes …we can do that for you. What was your husband’s name?
“Harry……H…..for hairy A…….for a…..a….apple………”
You get the picture. Sometimes I wonder how many towels sat waiting for collection with the names Harry and Martha monogrammed on them.
We used to phone in to the local radio station for a special segment run by Father James. Sometimes I had a Swedish accent, other times I was a rambunctious kid….a sexy divorcee or an American tourist disappointed with the rudeness of Aussies. It was hugely good fun to confuse the poor Father by pretending we had a crossed line when my friend piped into the conversation speaking Lithuanian on her downstairs phone.
They were the fearless days. The days before fearless became fearful. I didn’t think I could write about fearlessness since it features so rarely in my adult world. Other people are fearless….not me. The best I can do is fearlessly admit that fear permeates most aspects of my life and that’s why I find comfort in passages from the Bible….quotes from Jesus. If God didn’t give us the spirit of fear, then there’s hope for me yet. I’m hopeful of living fearlessly…one moment at a time.