I was told to ride on a bicycle, I needed to be guided, yet there was no one to teach me. I was told even the best riders had to fall and be injured many times to perfect the art. Every day I stood before it, walked by it, dragged along on it, picturing myself riding it but too afraid to suspend my feet and dare to truly ride……Plus it wasn’t even my bike!

I will sleep off many nights and dream of cycling with friends. Days passed….and one of those days I took the bicycle; today was different, my visit was going to be over by the next two days and I was yet to ride the first bicycle I had close access to. Full of thoughts and mixed feelings, it occurred to me I had just ridden on it for 30 seconds without realising and the moment I realised, the fears came flooding in and then I fell, it was a bad fall with a good lesson. The very next day, I had a choice to never ride again for fear of falling again, or ride till I never fell again…..I chose the latter and I never fell again.

What if they laugh at me? What if he breaks my heart? I am not brilliant, assuming I fail? What if she falls,what if he is hurt? If I were rich I will have helped the needy, If only I were taller I’ll have made a great model. If I were shorter I will have found the right man. If I were less busy I will serve God more. I can’t wear that pretty outfit I will be too noticeable. We cannot win; we are outnumbered. We have done this before it will likely fail again. If I were richer or born with a silver spoon.If I had been raised properly. If only I could dance, sing, talk confidently. I am afraid I will be unable to do it, I am an introvert, she is rich I can’t be with a girl like her. He is so good looking, what if he doesn’t want a girl like me?

The list is endless, that inner voice that screams ‘you cannot’, ‘what ifs’, ‘you shouldn’t’, ‘you are not fit’,‘not good enough’, ‘not groomed enough’, ‘not rich enough’ and the voices around that confirm the very things we dread. If asked we’d say ‘I am not afraid, I am only cautious or simply a realist….. In the end fear is what it is…..FEAR.

We all express it through the toughest means and at other times in the mildest moments. Whether in panic/fright,traditions/rituals, pessimism/suspicion, anxiety/worry, comfort/security,criticism/blame, concern/trepidation, cautiousness/restraint,excuses/justifications, dismay/depression…

They often say life I short, I dare say it is shorter than short! The many facets of fear shorten the days and double the concerns. To live is to dare death that in itself is courage! To live is to do the very things that the dead cannot do. To live is to go past dreaming and live the dreams. To live is to fear-LESS, because in the end we are very small, vulnerable, and weak but we have a God who is bigger than we picture, stronger than we imagine, more involved in our existence than we allow ourselves to believe and He is the one who has given the power to BE! So I will be what He says I’d be!

By the way, I eventually got my own bicycle and along with it the realisation that there was no such thing as……IMPOSSIBLE with God!

Toyin Seth-Ogungbe’

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