This entry was one of the finalists in our 2015 Birthday Competition and was written by Emma Hawkins.

Fear. A gut wrenching, body shaking, skid mark inducing gift to humanity. There are many fears in life. Fear of death, animals, clowns, peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth (Arachibutyrophobia), and the list goes on. Having come out to a cattle station from the city, fear looked upon me like I was a freshman in college, it in theory dacked me on a daily basis, and flushed my head in the toilet too many times to count.

I once opened a gash in my head. Needle, thread, a doctor, and six holes in my face later, I’m good. My answer however to jabbing me with a needle to prevent disease? Nope. Want to see a twenty three year old act like a sooking toddler, I’ll be at your local doctor’s, lollipop in hand.

image2.PNGLearnt that lesson the hard way.

Little spider crawling up my arm? Better scream like I’m summoning satan and bust out some Zumba dance moves to get rid of it. But a big golden orb spider right outside my donga? Yeah that’s Dennis. He/she is affectionately greeted every morning and bid goodnight at sleep time like a small child.

Fear of touching algae in water troughs? Yep, I’ve considered gloves. Slobber and tar spattered all over my face though? Not a problem, free facial? Yes please. All these whopper signs of insanity belong in my head, my next jacket may be a straight one.

image1.PNGGetting down and dirty.

Ever feared that someone’s used you? Check. Legged it up the yard panels with a raging cow behind you, Check. Choked a snake out of fear that it’s going to wriggle free and miraculously swallow you, Ariats and all, Check.

We all dread it, we are all born with a capability to feel it, we all know of fear. But what you don’t know is:

That I’ve worked my childlike meltdown from ten minutes to two, and there are no more tears.

That I’ve given Dennis a chance to live instead of killing him with the front page news.

That I now jump into the troughs barefooted, and scrape algae out with my bare hands (not gonna lie, still a little gross).

That someone using me has given me an opportunity to learn for the future.

That instead of watching the yards from afar I’m brave enough to now be in them (getting my monthly cardio done. Two birds, one stone).

image3.PNGNothing like a big slobbery kiss to brighten your day.

And that a year ago I wouldn’t have touched a snake, let alone held (cough, choked) one.

My point is, don’t shy away from fear. Fear is the greatest opportunity you have to grow. You have a chance to develop strength and courage in a way that’s brutal, but to the point. That is why I say it is a gift to humanity, even though it doesn’t feel like one. So if you wet your pants over butterflies like Nicole Kidman, it’s ok, no one can tell when you’re wearing jeans.