Thursday, March 21, 2013

Dealing with Fear: It's All in How You Look at It.

Fear. It's been a larger part of my life than I'd like to admit. Since I've moved to California, quite frankly, I've been beating it's ass. Two major moments of clarity oddly enough have happened on my friends' sailboat (read other epiphany here). Also oddly enough that first picture I will title, "Bird Shit Rock" is a perfect metaphor for the strategy I've found works best for rising above fear and enjoying your life: It's all in how you look at it. 

We went for a "sail around the marina" for Jonathan's birthday. The boats in the marina float on calm waters. Lots of charming sites too: beautiful yachts, goofy house boats, screaming seals, leather faced orange boat-living people. It's thoroughly entertaining, and completely manageable anxiety wise. It was chilly that night, but we had pizza and champagne and warm coats to cuddle up in. Before I knew it we were very close to exiting the serenity of the marina and entering the motherfacking Pacific Ocean. The panic kicked in. 

This wasn't the plan! Uhhhh Cap'n,  it's lookin pretty choppy out there! I'm gonna get sea sick! I'm on a boat.... I'm trapped on this boat. The water is too cold to swim back! We're all gonna die. I don't know how, but we DIE!

Right before I peed my pants I noticed the exit of the marina is lined with a rock wall where hundreds of birds sit to sip in the sunset. While enjoying the view, they like to poop. Ya know, like birds do. The white mess has completely Jackson Pollocked this massive pile of rocks....and it's kinda beautiful. You get what I'm saying? The doo doo is beautiful if you forget it's doo doo for a second. I forgot we were floating out to sea and frantically started snapping away with my camera and when I looked up we were rocking on the open Pacific. 

Woe. I'm not scared. It is breathtaking. This looks like a vintage OP tee shirt. My friends are awesome. I'm drinking champagne. On a boat. Happy birthday babe. I laughed out loud. 

The idea that I probably wouldn't have gone on the sail if I knew we were going out to the ocean because I was "anxious about it" is ASININE.  GAH! I'm a whiney baby sometimes! So many otherwise amazing moments in my life have been obscured in my mind by my anxiety. But the fix is to just look at the moments differently. Live in the now as much as humanly possible. And when you do get scared, let yourself go there for a moment and snap back to reality. 

The beauty of a sunset (or a rock covered in bird excrement) will always be there to remind you that it's worth paying attention to the world outside of you as opposed to obsessing over thoughts or fears fabricated in your mind. 

Do YOU have a bird shit rock? Something that should've been ugly that turned into a beautiful experience?

And for your listening pleasure, A SONG to match this post. 


  1. Love this. I think that phrase itself is enough to take any scary experience and turn it into a positive one.

    You know every unfortunate situation from this point forward is going to be referred to by yours truly as a "bird shit rock".

    I honestly think most 'bad' experiences have the potential to be transformed into something, if not wholly positive, at least redeemingly beneficial. Thanks for opening up in this post, I think it's so cool that you can write, take photos, be cool AND look beautiful, all at once.

    Really like how indie and vintage-y these pics look. They're making me serene just looking at them.


    1. Gabs,
      Thanks mama! I agree there can be some positivity found in almost everything. And about the photos: I'm going to do a post aaaaallll about my gear and process and tips and etc.

  2. This is so awesome, thanks for being real... We need more of it out there! You keep kicking fear in the teeth!

  3. these pictures are amazing! How did you do such a lovely job taking photos?

  4. i couldn't agree with this more and i think that it stems from the same idea that there are only neutral situations in this life and we choose to make them either positive or negative. but bird shit rock is way catchier.


  5. I laughed aloud a couple times. you are amazing!

  6. Absolutely agree on this one. Fear is a state of mind, as well as sadness. You can always choose whether you feel good or bad, or scared. I'm very happy that you overcome your fear ^_^

  7. So true! I am afraid of flying but strangely I always sit at the window and look outside, seeing how beautiful it is calms me, and makes me take all the trips I want. Gorgeous photos! Thanks for visiting, don't know if you are following me, but I am following you now on Bloglovin, you have a great blog!
    ps Love LA!

  8. True, but sometimes is so hard to choose the beauty/love instead the fear :)
    Good for you!!!!
    and the pictures are so beautiful!!!so beautiful !

  9. Great post! I get anxious when flying, and sometimes it's hard to calm myself down, but once I'm at my destination I think about how silly I was for panicking. Fear is all in one's head, and it's a choice!

    Also, 'bird shit rock'... hilarious :D

  10. It's so great when you are scared and the experience you are scared of becomes such a great thing! And I love these photos, they are beautiful

  11. AHAHAHah "this looks like a vintage OP t-shirt"...YES! Gurl you are good. LOVE THIS! Love you.


  12. i have to say i love your perspective on this......and im happy you didn't let your fear get the best of you......the biggest fear i ever had came true two years ago when i unexpectedly got pregnant, so much fear goes through your mind but then i pictured myself putting someone else's needs above my own and it honestly got me through it......and the past 19 months of raising my sweet baby boy with my husband has been my bird shit rock hehe.
    brooke @ what2wear

  13. amazing photos girl. and fairly inspiring... love your blog, you're a beautiful person. following :)

  14. This is such a great inspirational post. I have struggled with fear and anxiety issues for many years and have only within the last year really felt myself becoming free from all that. I love reading posts like this. And the pictures are beautiful too. :)

  15. I love sailing!!! I'm so jealous looking at these pics...:) Which are gorgeous, by the way! I do get the beauty of a shit rock but I don't think I have one of my own.:) Although, I was scared of sailing when I was little (because of the tilting) but when I got older and understood a bit of physics and realized that boats actually can't flip over that easily, I really started to enjoy it. And looking at the sunset on a boat is amazing, beyond amazing even.

  16. I love this post, just what I needed to take a step back and reassess what I am panicking/worrying over, so thank you!

    Maria xxx

  17. Great shots, absolutely beautiful.

  18. WONDERFUL photos and an inspiring story. It's really empowering to overcome fears. The more you do it, the easier it gets. Keep going strong, Girl!

    Kate from Clear the Way

  19. Oh man, I love this post. made me laugh but your point went across. I'm scared of failure... but like you said, it's how you look at it. Failure is a part of life that actually makes you feel alive because once you overcome failure, that's when you could say "I did it" same with any fear... love it and thanks for visiting my website! <3 appreciated the love.


  20. Ooh what a great post! It sounds so familiar actually, I get the same feeling when snowboarding. While the chances to fall smack on the icy mountain and hurt yourself is way bigger than getting trapped on the ocean. It does give such an intense feeling whenever you've reached the end of the slope and you're like: oh wow I did it! But still I always wish there would be an "off" switch in my head so I could enjoy the snowboarding a bit more (especially on the steep parts). Haha so I seem to have the same effect in extreme sports :p But I'm such a chicken about heights as well. Thanks for sharing your fears, makes me feel not so alone in mine :)

  21. Don't know how I missed this one. I, too, am just naturally fearful. I was the kid who wouldn't jump off stuff because I could imagine what kind of injuries I might incur. I couldn't get past that risk of pain and a second of thrilling flight just didn't seem worth it. Gotta be a grown up now, though! The fear I'm still struggling with is needles. I worked through it at the dentist, somehow, but still can't keep myself from panicking during a blood draw, and I really need my tetanus booster! It's so hard to calm yourself down when you're panicking. I need to find my poopy rock in the doctor's office.


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