Why Fearless?

May 15, 2012
machine gun

How should start my first official blog entry without being too abrupt, yet not sounding too formal? Maybe it is nice to begin by introducing myself. There is the About page for that already though. Maybe I could share some life updates which most bloggers with personal blogs normally do. Or perhaps I could write more about the premise of this blog, and its relation to me as an often lost and confused girl struggling to find her voice.

In recent months, countless moments of a crazy life has happened, in between feeble attempts to write something more meaningful than a status update, or anythingmore than 140 characters on the Internet. Why? I have gotten scared of expressing myself. But maybe I was just scared that I might unintentionally share, or give away, too much and that I in turn spare myself nothing. Practicing the art of sharing, the balance of saying just enough has become mentally exhausting for me. It is always safer to write clandestinely, in the old tradition of journals and diaries, which I still enjoy doing until now. This then results in a cognitive dissonance: I want to learn how to write better, but I am at times afraid to express my thoughts. And I do contradict myself like this a lot.

Call me fearless, maybe

It seems that the amount of courage required to do something that you fear is proportional to the number of times you have hesitated to do so. I have lost plenty of momentum with my writing and starting again is difficult.

My personal journey in finding my voice then stays true to the name of this blog. I want to be able to write fearlessly.

Don’t get me wrong though, I do not claim to be fearless, nor do I want to be (literally) fearless. In fact, being incapable of experiencing fear can get one into trouble and danger, as one is unable to sense the possibility of suffering or harm, both physically and emotionally.

Imagine that you are unafraid of wild animals. When you see an escaped tiger in front of you, all that you feel is sheer excitement and curiosity and fascination as you extend your hand to touch its head, even while it roars loudly. Even when it stretches its sharp claws to scratch you, you still walk a few steps toward it to pet it. If you are incapable of feeling fear, then a part of your brain, most probably the amygdala, the area responsible for humans’ fight or flight instinct, is damaged. (Read this article of an actual person who cannot experience fear from Scientific American Mind‘s May/June 2011 issue.)

So there. I do not want to be rid of the feeling of fear altogether, but what I would like to do is to live my life with more courage and bravery, to be able to take risks and accept challenges without being totally reckless about it. The absence of fear is described as recklessness, while being too fearful is known as cowardice. What I aim for is the middle ground, or what Aristotle deems as the Golden Mean between recklessness and cowardice: courage.

With this post, I hope that the name of this blog would sound less pretentious, but instead will sound like a suitable description for a someone who has recently graduated from college and is currently figuring out the next steps she will either bravely or frighteningly take, as a twenty-one year old girl who does not want anything more but to simply live a meaningful life she has been blessed with.

Okay so this is just quite typical of me. I can’t help overanalyzing things and explaining too much, which sometimes result into some random psychological and philosophical musings. You might see more of this in my future posts. Or not. We shall see! 


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