Big Girl Pants and Fear

399 days ago I choose to stop drinking, well I choose to do so before that specific day but that’s the day I did it. And I did fear.
And in the ensuing 399 days I have discovered I do fear over all sorts of things. I’ve come to understand that fear rolls in and rolls out. Sometimes it’s big, sometimes not so much. Sometimes I feel threatened by it and sometimes I’m a little exhilarated by it. Sometimes I feel it’s too big for me and I can’t do it but guess what I do do it.
So I do fear. Well no shit Sherlock. That’s not new, except the clarity with which I see it and understand it is.

Recently I found myself in Noumea all by myself for the first day and a half. [Flight botch up with my sisters connecting flight meant she was delayed a day]. I fronted up with my big girl pants that first day and said no worries, I can go over by myself. No big deal. And it wasn’t. And then I got there and that’s when being on my own hit home with a major breath sucking wallop. I felt like such a fish out of water and so very alone. Had I been somewhere where I spoke the language I may have been better but I wasn’t and so there were 2 options open to me as I saw it; I could either freak out and hide away until company arrived or I could choose to rise to the occasion and get on with the start of my holiday.

So off I went for a walk familiarising myself with the local area, got myself some much needed lunch and perused the shops confidently saying “Bonjour” and then looking obviously blank when people struck up conversations in French with me. Laughter followed, they spoke in English as best they could and charades filled in the rest.
I also popped a note on the Living Sober website trusting that support would come back and of course it did.
My other coping mechanism was to hit the wee shop up the road where I brought support supplies of a can of coke zero, a can of lift and a chunky kit kat bar. That was where my no shit Sherlock aha moment popped in. I am doing fear and I am smothering that fear in make it better foods that really offered no support what so ever [although that kit kat…..nom nom nommmmmm].

Hmm, this was interesting. Now I know this is not new news to me but the clarity with which I saw it was so crystal clear that I could see it from soul level right out. And this revealed to me that I could choose a better way to deal with it, one that actually left me feeling quite proud of myself.

After a lovely soak and meditative bath and a wonderful sleep I woke the next morning, dressed myself in my big girl pants and took myself off for a big walk along the way sussing out the bus route and off into the city centre I went. I explored the area and indulged in the most wonderful and foot refreshing foot massage [even now my toes tingle with the luxury of it]. I successfully managed to sort out the right bus back arriving in plenty of time to do lunch, take myself armed with camera off on another walk before excitedly meeting my sister.
Who I then, once she was unloaded of luggage in the room, took on a walk in the immediate area pointing out all the relevant sites whilst informing her on where I had booked us in for dinner that evening.
And incredibly I felt quite knowledgeable and experienced as I pointed out varying things and filled her in on what I had learnt.
Pretty cool aye.

And all without buying more chocolate [although does the chocolate in my crepe for lunch count???] or having a drink.

Fear has its place. The clarity with which I saw how mine was playing out in this situation and the clarity with which I saw how to manage it in such a way as to feel proud of myself was gratifying.
I reached out, in expressing my fear to others I found strength. I reached in and I found strength.

Alcohol free clarity should be a book written on that.


5 thoughts on “Big Girl Pants and Fear

  1. In “foreign” situations, we gravitate toward that which is comfortable for us. A Coke Zero and a Kit-Kat bar are the same in any language. It’s not surprising in the least that you chose those items instead of French imports or Quebecois food and drink, at least on your first day there. They’re almost like gustatory talismans grounding you to your Anglophone reality.

    I live in a part of the USA with many Mexican immigrants. Not surprisingly, our stores do a thriving business in Mexican candies and treats. In a foreign culture, sometimes you just want the taste of home.


    • Oops. Actually just looked up “Noumea.” It’s South Pacific, not Francophone Canadian. My bad. The rest of my post stands, however. 🙂


  2. I love this post. I’m an introvert so anything like this is bound to bring up a lot of fear and anxiety for me but I’ve learned that I have to push through because…well…that’s how life works! My job requires travel and when I first started doing it I was a wreck! Slowly but surely I became used to it and quite proud of myself in the process. Each adventure was a chance for me to step out of my comfort zone and stretch.

    Bravo to you. Sounds like a lovely holiday.



  3. Bravo to you!
    It is wonderful that you travel.
    I think I always learn something about life or myself when I travel to someplace different!


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