Bloganuary prompt: What fear have you conquered?
The funny thing with fear: once you conquer it, it doesn’t seem so scary anymore.
There are many situations on a regular basis that are a little scary to me. Large amounts of people, displeasing someone, complaining to someone, some of my first aid cases…. I would classify those as fears you need to “adult through”. Sometimes I only notice that I felt fear after the situation is already over.
One of the scariest things I have ever done was to pack up my life in Germany and move to Canada. I didn’t have a firm job offer or any idea about other ideas about how to support myself beyond the limited savings I had. I had never been outside of central Europe and I had never been on a plane before.
Granted, I had no attachments and my employer was sad to see me go. I had met someone on vacation that I wanted to be with and that lived in Vancouver BC and I had lined up an interview with one of the two Pipe-organ builders in Western Canada. When my tourist visa ran out and none of my plans had worked out I could have returned to Germany.
It was still scary and the new immigrant experience through a lot of situations at me that weren’t easy to overcome, even with all the privileges in my favour.
I later used these experiences to help others move from one culture to the other.
As you might have read, I am a Master Pipe-Organ builder. Other than a mandatory time spent as a “Journeyperson” and a year of full-time study at the only master program in Ludwigsburg, Germany it also includes a final exam in four parts.
Due to various factors, I failed two of these elements the first time. I had to wait for at least two years to repeat these exams and continued working in the trade to support myself and my family. It was very hard to deal with the failure and when the time came close to repeat the drafting exam I was so stressed that my health was suffering. Fortunately, my doctor recognized the mental health connection and referred me to a therapist that helped me immensely. Especially after failing the drafting exam the second time, I needed all the help I could get.
After four years I finally passed all four of the exam elements and I am now a certified Master Pipe Organ Builder (OBM).
I deal with the ghost of this trauma every time I face an exam or a job interview or similar situations.
The funny thing with fear is that you never fully lose it.