I live in fear a lot these days.

It’s not something I ever thought would be true of me. If you ask people who have known me for a long time, one of the words they’d use to describe me is “brave”.

Or actually, “batshit crazy.”

I’m the Kara “Starbuck” Thrace of the friends group. I’m the one who will recklessly rush in, no thought to consequences, and somehow pull things out of the fire at the last minute.

At least, I was.

You get older, and things change, and you start worrying a lot more. Worrying about what you’ll lose if you’re brave. Worrying about what will be taken from you if you dare to speak up.

You start thinking about not only yourself, but those in your immediate sphere: your family. Your loved ones. Will they suffer if you live without fear?

They say love is the opposite of fear, but in my experience, loving so fiercely has made me even more fearful. How would I exist if my husband were taken from me? My mother? My puppy?

How can I keep them safe if I throw caution to the wind?

Regaining my sense of fearlessness means I must find ways of being fearless that are still cautious enough to keep my loved ones safe.

It means finding a way to live so that future-me won’t be ashamed of present-me, while still ensuring there will be a future-me.

We live in interesting times, and a life lived in fear is no life at all. The future demands our bravery.