Getting Past Fear of Change

I'm not the best photographer, but this is the size of the house I am hoping to get. No loft, everything is on a single level. Kitchen to the right of the door and living space and bathroom to the left.

I’m not the best photographer, but this is the size of the house I am hoping to get. No loft, everything is on a single level. Kitchen to the right of the door and living space and bathroom to the left.

A friend wrote to me last evening, as I was writing up this post: “Your life path seems so logical to anyone who knows you and has seen your progression but sounds like such a jolt to anyone who doesn’t!” I was like, “are you sitting right next to me, invisible, right now??”

As I take more steps to making such big changes in my life, it’s natural for those around me to worry. It’s natural for them to ask questions to make sure I’ve thought all the scenarios through. And it’s natural for those questions to get into my psyche sometimes and make me doubt myself.

Artist's rendering of what the  inside of my tiny home may look like. The railing is there if you want to have a raised kitchen floor. Because I plan on adopting more disabled animals like Osito in the future, I will have it all one level.

Artist’s rendering of what the inside of my tiny home may look like. The railing is there if you want to have a raised kitchen floor. Because I plan on adopting more disabled animals like Osito in the future, I will have it all one level.

Here’s the thing. I can’t let fear run my life. I can’t let the fear of the unknown run my life. And to be perfectly frank, I feel like that’s how i have lived most of my life up until now. When in high school, I followed the assumed path “well of course you’re going to college.”  I had one parent (Dad) who had gone to college and then pursued a masters degree while working, and another parent (Mom) who had not gone beyond high school. Dad was the breadwinner (until the time that it became my mom when they divorced, along with child support and alimony from my dad.) My idea of someone being successful had been a person who wears a suit to work (or at the very least a shirt and tie) and who made a good salary. You went to work at 9, did your thing, came home at night. Get up the following morning and repeat, until the weekend comes.

A better photo - the bumpout you see will house the hot water heater, so it's easily accessible to repair without having to rip apart the house from the inside.

A better photo – the bumpout you see will house the hot water heater, so it’s easily accessible to repair without having to rip apart the house from the inside.

So I went to college. First the plan was to get a business degree. Then I realized (after struggling through statistics as a freshman) “well, that sucks, I hate math…” and decided to switch majors to one I did like — English. Not exactly the moneymaker, no. So the logical path seemed to be “be a teacher or go to law school.” So on to law school, I did. I pushed back the feelings of “maybe this isn’t right for me,” because I had already sunk a lot of time, effort, and not to mention, CASH, by the time the end of my first year rolled around. Sure, maybe it wasn’t really feeling like something I loved, but what kind of job could I get with an English degree and just one year of law school under my belt?

So, on to the safe route AGAIN. I feel like that’s what my life has been, one safe option after another. So when people bring up the “What ifs?” (which I know they do out of concern and love), it can sometimes really stress me out. And at times, it has, interrupting my sleep or my eating. A good friend asked me yesterday “What if your pets get sick? What if you fall and break your leg? What if you can’t find a job?” But I think I have gotten to the point now where when people raise these questions, I don’t see them as a reflection on or criticism of me for making potentially wrong choices. I know they just want to make sure I have thought everything through. And I know that some of these questions are being projected out of their own fears for themselves. 

I have thought a lot of things through. I have played all those negative scenario “what ifs?” through my mind. But I have also come to the conclusion that if I wait to have it all figured out before I make these big changes, I might as well never even try to chase my simple dreams. And they really are “simple” in so many ways. A tiny house with just the right amount of room for what I love and that doesn’t take forever to clean. A life with lots of pets and unconditional love around me.  A job that leaves me feeling fulfilled. (Believe me, I know there will definitely be some days when I will question myself and my choices when working with animals. People are cruel and do mean and stupid things where animals are concerned.)

This is the interior of the model house. i will not have wood paneling on the walls, the walls won't be orange, and there will be more cabinets, a stove, a fridge, and a stackable washer and dryer. And more windows.

This is the interior of the model house. i will not have wood paneling on the walls, the walls won’t be orange, and there will be more cabinets, a stove, a fridge, and a stackable washer and dryer. And more windows.

As I have said to some friends, I cannot sit and just not do anything to change my circumstances.  If I were to do that, I might as well shut up and go home. The thought of doing that — of not moving forward, even in small steps, depresses the hell out of me. I have to take a leap of faith in myself. Not everything in life can be completely planned out. I know that when push comes to shove, I will make things happen.

So, am I afraid? Of course I am. I’m human. I appreciate the care and concern of those around me. But I just refuse to let them keep me frozen in place and ignore what my heart tells me it really wants me to do. No more. And every time I pick up my baby girl Osito (if you’re not familiar with her, there are tons of pics of her on this blog), I know in my heart I’m following the right path. Animals – helping animals that is, is where it’s at. It’s where I need to go, and need to be.

My siding will look like this - vinyl siding on bottom with cedar shake on top. It reminds me of the Cape with the cedar shake. It will likely be different colors, though.

My siding will look like this – vinyl siding on bottom with cedar shake on top. It reminds me of the Cape with the cedar shake. It will likely be different colors, though.

If you have liked this post, please hit like or subscribe or drop me a line below. How do you get past fear?

21 thoughts on “Getting Past Fear of Change

  1. You are brave. And correct. If you wait till you know everything is perfect you will never move toward your dreams. I’m 59..and I’ve always done the expected and safe thing too. I am so over that. But I am not as brave as you. Yet. But change is roiling around inside and will spew out soon. I think. Meanwhile…you forge ahead, take decent precautions but stretch yourself and enjoy the adventure!

    • Dawn, you are brave. It took me a few years to get to this point where I’m just saying, “screw it, I’m going for it.” The pain of not moving forward outweighs the fear of going into the unknown for me, right now. When you get to the point where it spews out, it’s terrifying but also very exciting. I almost felt last week while in NC, that things were a bit surreal. Like, am I really doing this?? I AM really doing this!

  2. I feel like I’ve made LOTS of choices in life because it was the safe path… but even because I felt like I didn’t have a choice. I also don’t feel like I can say “screw it, I’m going for it” on things because it affects too many others. I am impressed by your decisions and willingness to leap!

    And you’re totally right about people questioning because it’s a way to vocalize their own fears for themselves without flat out saying, “That would scare me!”

    • Jill, I understand that I am fortunate to be in a position where I can say “screw it” because I am single and the only ones depending on me financially are my pets. You have a family. It’s so different. I have also made choices thinking something was the only path I had to choose. just the line in front of me to follow.

  3. Go Forth young lady !! No right or wrong choices in life….just choices. My biggest “pain” is tryin’ to make my choices happen quicker. Selling my house is taking it’s toll on my nerves. The buyers bank needed one more week to close on the deal. I’m like ..Ugh!! Banks have no regard to the closing date on a house. They drag their feet and then want to get an extension. So I’m biding my time waiting. Everything is packed….it’s the waiting that is killing me. Good post Terri!! I like the picture of the house you’re looking at.

    • Gary, thank you so much. About your house, just take a breath and know that it will happen. A year later, you won’t care about the extra week the bank needs. So you have already done all the downsizing too? That’s awesome!

      • Thanks Terri. Yeah, downsized…a lot. I do have some tubs of photo albums that I have to deal with eventually but am storing some stuff at my brothers and parents house temporarily. Good thing about having adult children is that they can use kitchen ware, beds, fishing poles, hunting gear, etc, etc. So much of my stuff was junk that I held onto for years and never used. Much went into the trash and some went to Goodwill. I don’t miss it at all…matter of fact, it felt like freedom !! Lol. I’m guessing that when everything comes together, you’ll have the same feeling and will be much happier Terri. Take care my friend !!

      • That’s awesome, Gary and I’m not surprised one bit how good it feels for you now! yes, I will feel that same feeling as you, I am sure.

  4. Hi Terri:

    Great post! Totally love your passion of stepping out into the unknown. Fear has a way of getting the best of us. Then you have the concern of our loved ones…which is totally valid. This is why they are called “loved ones.” But ultimately we must chose for ourselves. And this is scary.

    You have my respect for taking such bold moves in your journey. Keep seeking your dreams my friend. Go Terri…GO!!

  5. Don’t do it!

    Just kidding =) Nice kitchen, very European with the laundry in the kitchen. I had a set like that before in an apartment, it only held 1/2 the load of a normal set though…Either you have a doll house like stove or the photo got squished. But you’re a vegetarian so you probably don’t cook anyways. No dishwasher either? Are you sure you want to hand wash dishes for the rest of your life?

    • I’m fine with having a smaller dryer/washer combo. Downsizing, remember? 🙂 And yeah the stove is 20 or 24 inches, I believe, so a bit smaller than normal but yes, the drawing is not done to scale, I don’t think. Dishwasher – I’ve only ever had one in my life, when I was married, and it took a while for even two of us to fill up. So with one person, it would be insane. I’d have no dishes left before it got filled up. Part of living in a small space is that you stay more organized and neat. I’m fine with washing dishes by hand. 🙂

  6. Great post Terri! I have been wanting to make changes in my life for so long, but never seem to get the ball rolling. Thank you for giving me the inspiration to actually do something!! I’m so excited for you and your new journey!!

    • I think that happens to a lot of us – we think about getting something done but then don’t actually follow through. I think I just got to that point where i was like, enough is enough. And thank you for the compliment!

  7. I think the move will be great for you and your furry loved ones. The people here are friendly and helpful, and you can see the ground more than 330 days out of the year. Now, if you bring that snow with you…we’re gonna have a heart to heart. Just kidding 🙂 See you soon!

  8. Oh, believe me, I have NO intention of bringing that snow with me! I have definitely gotten good vibes from the town, Lydia, and I am so glad to have met you. I feel like things are falling into place. I think my cats will love all the Cat TV out of the windows, looking at the trees, etc.

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