When I was 12 or so I loved watching professional wrestling, you know the kind with the capes and the boots and tag lines? I loved watching them parade around the stage and get the crowd hyped, I loved watching the moves and the athleticism. It didn’t cross my mind or maybe I didn’t care that it was for entertainment or that it was fake, I just knew that I loved the excitement of the characters and how they would fly off the ropes into a daring move. Of course, my big sister and I would reenact some moves when we would fight and there was a time or two that she got hurt and I told her I would buy her a new leg. I had no idea what that meant, but I did know I was fearless when I tackled her in the kitchen or when she tackled me in the garage, and we broke through the side door just like it was planned on tv! We giggled until our mother reminded us of what fear really was. She was angry to say the least, but we still laugh at it today and is one of my favorite memories. I tell you this story because while I don’t watch as much wrestling now, it reminds me about how fearless I was while flinging my body across the kitchen. I wasn’t afraid that I was a girl or that I might get hurt I wasn’t afraid I would break something of mine or my sisters or the side door. I feared my mother and I definitely feared my father, because when we misbehaved, and we did – a lot – we deserved the punishments. I only feared a few things when I was that age but now at 42 I fear so many things that really don’t even exist. I know fear will prevent me from living my life girl but some days it grows inside me and paralyzes my progress. I am even afraid that writing this will show that I am flawed and that my fears of failure have over come me.
I learned later that those wrestlers I grew up to love and imitate were characters each with its own persona. Those real athletes are real people with similar fears. A few years ago, I created my own persona or rather it was created for me, and I owned every bit of it. As I turned 40 I realized I had forgotten my best trait, that I was f-ing fabulous. I decided that I was going to fake it till I made it, meaning I would own the confidence others saw in me. I would own not being a fake friend and I would own all my flaws as if I meant them to be there. I would own my curvy body and I would own every little fear I had until they evaporated. The fears I faced, maybe you’ll agree, don’t physically exist. Letting others down was a false expectation I set on myself. Feeling that others only could see my flaws was my own perception. Thinking my butt was too big and my knees looked weird were all figments and, in the end, they are just fine. When I lost my job recently, I was terrified that my family would think I was a failure because that is how I felt, but this was not the reality. The reality is that they supported me and knew I had tried my hardest to make something false become real. These fears are not real, they don’t exist unless I let them and in the last few weeks, I let that fear crawl back in.
This week I had to remind myself that I am f-ing fabulous and that life is waiting for me to live it, girl. I have been feeling like my friends might think my persona is fake or false or flawed because I have believed for so long that she exists deep inside me and recently I have not felt any part of her fun existence. She does exist but when we go through something that shakes all your fears of failure you lose sight of that part of you that gives you strength, in my case JMFP. She is my persona, she is me. She voices her opinions, she stands up for the right thing, she is real and true and the most authentic part of me. She lives my life girl just the way I imagined I would. She stands at the edge and yells in that she isn’t afraid as she takes that leap. In the last month she comes and goes, some days she is up early ready to make the day her b*tch, other days she sleeps in because she just needs some extra time to heal. I know that in this chapter of my life I must own each day for her, for me, and when JMFP is ready to resume her post, I will welcome her with open arms. She will jump off the ropes fearlessly flinging her fabulous, flawed booty into a daring move that wows the crowd. She is me and I am her.
The next time fear paralyzes you create your own persona and look it in the eyes. Take the leap off the ropes, off the edge of the cliff and into the next step of what could be your fabulous future. Fears only exists if you believe they do, so you know the rest live your life girl and f*ck fear.