Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Trepidation is onomatopoetic.

To me, anyway. The word - trepidation... you can hear the shiver, the nervousness contained within the word. It's the word I thought of when I was driving back from Little Rock this afternoon.

No big deal, by the way, but I've found my next house. It's everything I've been praying for. It's small, cute, close to campus, and has a pretty, level, fenced yard for the pooch. It's got lots of cabinets in the kitchen and a showerhead I won't have to stoop to get under. It's a three bedroom, one bath. It's got a nice big den on the back that I might even claim as my bedroom and stick couches in one of the bedrooms instead. It's in a safe, landscaped neighborhood. It's affordable. In short, it's a godsend.

Why, then, did I feel a very particular nervousness as I was driving back to Hot Springs after turning over the deposit check? Because I'm afraid of commitment and always have been and probably always will be. The particular feeling of fear I was feeling, the specific trepidation, seemed familiar to me and at first I couldn't put my finger on why. I began to dissect the fear to get a better look at it. It was the "run for the door, quick" fear, a "this might not be right even though it seems that way" fear. It was a voice in my head telling me that even though it was everything I'd wanted and everything I needed that I shouldn't change my life.

Then it hit me. It's the exact trepidation I get every time I'm about to go under the needle for some new ink. Even though I've committed to the design by staring at it for months on my refrigerator and drawing it on with a sharpie over and over, I still want to run for the door each time. But I suck it up, conquer the fear, and go through with it... and every time I love it.

Trepidation is a fun word to research. Merriam and Webster, close personal homeboys of mine, say the etymology is Latin trepidation-, trepidatio, from trepidare to tremble, from trepidus agitated; probably akin to Old English thrafian to urge, push, Greek trapein to press grapes. That's exactly how I felt - as if I was hopping from foot to foot, back and forth, nervously. Then the definition goes on to say that trepidation means "timorous uncertain agitation." What perfect, beautiful language.

I'm about to make a huge change in my life. For the past eight years I've been working in restaurants and trying to make that my life, even if I didn't realize it at first. That is not to say that restaurant work can not be part of my life again in the future, but at least for the next two or three years it will not be the focus. My focus will be classes, studying, papers, reading... Instead of in a kitchen, I will spend most of my time on a campus. Rather than cracking dirty jokes with cooks, I'll be discussing ideas with professors. I'll replace late-night-socializing with early-evening-studies.

I'm terrified... but excited. I've been put on this path for a reason, the universe has been painfully clear about that. Fear can be a motivator for strength - as long as my trepidation keeps me hopping from foot to foot on these fresh new grapes, I'll make sure I'm at least hopping forward.

1 comment:

Megan Chapman said...

Nice post.
Trepidation is a wonderful word. It can propel you forward and it can keep you safe, and safe isn't always good. Keep moving forward.
Congrats on finding the perfect space to start your new life. I hope school goes well for you.