So I finally picked up this book that I have been wanting to read for the past two years – Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg and she asks this question in the book, “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” Now I don’t quite know if this question was asked by Mark Zuckerberg to her, or if she keeps asking this to herself or if it’s just a printable on one of the walls inside Facebook? Whatever the case may be, this question has stayed on in my mind. I have almost written many blog posts in my mind ever since I read this question or phrase, that I thought today is probably high time that I actually wrote the post or rather put pen on paper or keyboard on computer.
Rambling are we?!
After having walked this earth some adult years, I can confidently say that I pretty much own the phrase, “Shitting in my pants”.
Or rather I am so freaking scared all the time or afraid and hell, there are so many things I wish I had done if I weren’t afraid. I am so paranoid of so many things that if you watch closely, under strained or stressed circumstances you will probably see my teeth clattering, my knees shivering and wanting to let go of my torso, my heart beating loud enough for neighbours to hear and parched throats that only a well can quench. I am no kidding. Some of my friends have been witness to that. I get scared to literally project all the symptoms that you see in a Tom & Jerry cartoon or rather a scared Homer in this case.
Now what would I have done if I weren’t afraid???
- Learnt to ride a bicycle in my childhood. I think I know how to ride one but I am not quite sure. A truck in front of me and a dawdling Cobra pretty much ended any ambition of me wanting to become a biker
- If I weren’t afraid, I would have borrowed my friend’s scooter and learnt to ride one. Well, I did not. I had all the time in the world. I was living in a hostel. Didn’t have TV. Nothing to get high on, but heck, I spent too much time doing you know what…getting afraid.
- If I weren’t afraid, I would have learnt to drive a car. Anytime in my waking adult life I would have. But then fear got the better of me and that led to me making excuses like, hey, a Mumbai girl doesn’t need to know how to drive. The city has great commuting options and where is the road?! But then a different city in India happened to me and I was stuck outside the city, in it’s rural precincts and where if I don’t know how to drive, my local rickshaw guy will soon own a car on my money and I will have to learn to ride a bicycle.
- If I weren’t afraid, I would have applied for a job in Google or Facebook or LinkedIn…
- If I weren’t afraid, I would have changed jobs at the right time and then again, wouldn’t have changed jobs in other cases and put on a brave fight.
And yet, on a delightful note, I must tell you that as I am closing in on this year, with all my clattering teeth, misbehaved knees, thundering heartbeats, parched throats and muttering Hanuman Chalisa under my breath, I HAVE LEARNT TO DRIVE !!! 🙂
And I am so proud of myself. I know I know it’s no big deal to 99% of the universe today, but then hey, when you see how wide I grin these days, you will know how big a deal it is to me.
I know a lot of dear ones whose lives would have been different if they weren’t afraid and many whose lives are really different because they weren’t afraid.
So now tell me your story…