The day when I learned the meaning of fear.
It is an old cliché to be told to live intensely the present moment, because it could be the last one. You can be death tomorrow, you know? We keep avoiding considering, not even thinking that it could be this one your last breath.
When the face of death introduces itself to you, the rules of the game suddenly change. And you have no voice in it. The normes modified for me as well , and it was the loudest and scariest wake up call that I have ever experienced, hoping to never again, in my life. We live by decisions, that we all know, but I had never realized to what extent they could influence other’s lives so much.
There was a steep driveway that turned into being a too big of a challenge for my old tico car to climb. I still vividly remember my last full clear sentence before driving up: “I’m a fearless driver. I drove to Drake Bay, in the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, in the rainy season, through four tropical rivers. Nothing can scare me.”
Somebody must have heard me, deciding to prove me wrong, or right….
Only few meters left before reaching the top of the hill, just like it happens in cartoones, the car starts to slow down and goes backwards. My heart stopped, but my hand went fast on the hand brake, stopping the vehicle. That was the very last time that had control on it. I know today that we were given that chance to allow my son, my best and dearest friend, and two other warm and kind souls, to jump out the vehicle before it came down like a fucking mad storm.
Do you know how it feels to go backwards, full speed on a downhill with an inclination steeper than Lombard Street withou any breaks at all? I wish not.
I remember taking a deep breath and the voice of my friend Adrian saying “if anything, just steer to the right, you’ll be fine”. And that’s what I did. And that’s why I’m here today to tell you this story. From inside the vehicle I only saw the front glass breaking and thinking “opps, this is going to cost” and my hands and arms touching the car roof, balancing left to right, lowering my body, and protecting my face from being completely smashed.
The car stopped, and I was ok. Really ok. Not so much were my dear once that had seen the sequence of the car flipping in the air, hitting the ground, and parked itself between a concrete wall and the slope of the hill like if it was driven by an Hollywood stuntman.
Adrian opened the passenger door, and I climbed outside the vehicle, covered in glasses and dirt with neither a bruise, or a scratch, or a broken finger. Nothing at all. And I wasn’t even the least scared.
I got into the shower and, along with the water, tears streamed down my face. Fear hit me like a fireball right into my chest when my son walked in the bathroom asking for the hug that I couldn’t give him yet, and whispered in my ears that he got a little bit scared.
The woman that never feared anything, was faced with the scariest thought of them all. Seeing my son suffering from my own sufferings.
Every great dream begins with a dreamer; every great dreamer roams freely into the deepest corners of his mind, accepting fear for being the accelarator for its dreams realization, instead of his biggest obstacle. Being in control of life is a weak illusion, but we can learn how to train and control the mind instead, and choose wisely the planof action to make those dreams come true.