Friday, March 16, 2012

We're All a Little Afraid of Ourselves

I'll be honest, for all this talk of adventure, I'm not that adventurous. At least not on my own. I always prefer to do things with someone, and if there's no one, I often opt to stay home. It's silly and lame but true. Fortunately I'm married and have a go-to companion whenever I'm itching to see and do. Yesterday though, I decided to explore London alone (something I've only done twice). I loved every minute of it; it was good to remind myself that fear is always unnecessary and that things done on your own can still be fun.

I hadn't been to Covent Garden so it was my first stop. I loved how lively it was even on a weekday, music and all shorts of food and clothing booths. The delicious smells were killing me so I decided to find a bakery that I've been wanting to visit ever since I started following them on Twitter last year.

The little corner Primrose Bakery was all abuzz with tea, cakes and cuteness. I was bummed that all the tables were taken but opted for two takeaway cupcakes, Lavender and Lemon.

I sat in Caffe Nero with a chai latte and did what I've learned the last couple of years is important: got to know myself. On the surface it seems kind of selfish, but I'm realizing that it's possibly one of the most selfless things a person can do. Thinking about who I am and asking the questions that normally I'd drown out with music, blogs, cleaning or really anything available, is eye opening and a necessary step in becoming who I was created to be. In a society where our reflex is "I'm doing well, how are you?" being left to our thoughts can be frightening and painful. And you know you need to be when you're afraid to turn things off - when the idea of a closed laptop and silence seems too much to bear.

Riding home I simply sat. I didn't pick up the newspaper beside me (they're trash anyway), read the book in my bag, play on the iPhone or put earbuds in. I sat and stopped drowning out the uncomfortable. The smelly man beside me, the couple making out a few seats over, me. And in that packed car, I was one of three people who were willing to do that.

I think we're all a little afraid of ourselves and we'd rather not admit it.

But I also think, with yesterday as proof, that facing our fears is the first step to overcoming them.

"There is no fear where love exists. Rather, perfect love banishes fear, for fear involves punishment, and the person who lives in fear has not been perfected in love." 1 John 4:18 ISV

Michaela Rae

This post is linked up to Try New Adventures Thursday. Link your adventures up every week!


  1. I travel a lot by myself for work, and you are totally right, it is often hard just to be by yourself. Not to have a companion even if it is a book or phone. Sitting by yourself and just being is harder than it seems. Thank you for showing and writing it out to the world! Oh and the cupcakes looked divine.

  2. Great post! And those cupcakes look amazing! I found your blog through Ruche and love it! :)

    1. Thanks so much Rachele! They were really tasty. I'll be going back!

  3. I love your blog! I've been following it for a while, but haven't had enough nerve to comment. I love those cupcakes and the little coffee shop.

  4. Michaela, this is so insightful. I spend so much time trying to do more and read more and plan more thinking that that's me figuring out what I want and what I like, and in a way it is, but so rarely do I actually get quiet and thoughtful and try to get to know myself that way. I'm the queen of drowning things out with music and blogs and cleaning - and facebook and reading and back-logged episodes of 30 rock on netflix. thanks for inspiring me to get a little more centered and gentle with myself. I love reading about your adventures - keep it up!

  5. I've got a Primrose Bakery recipe book, but I've never actually seen a real shop! Looks like a great day :)

  6. Loved, and agree with, this post. I have to "test myself" sometimes, by practicing stillness (as I tend to call it) and give myself little reminders when I'm not being 100% alone with myself when I had intended to be. Glad to see you're adventuring. Looks so wonderful, actually.


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