My wonderful and outdoorsy boyfriend, Anthony, and I were lucky enough to spend New Years weekend in west Texas, enjoying the desert and mountains of Terlingua and Big Bend National Park. It was a terrific trip of day hikes, audio books, boozy hot chocolate, and stunning vistas.
In the middle of the loveliness though, there were fears. About a month ago a woman had been attacked by a mountain lion in a remote area of the park, and there were multiple warning signs about appropriate lion sighting behavior and avoidance techniques.
Be aware of your surroundings, don’t cower, women are attacked far more often than men, keep children from running ahead, make noises, be loud, stay together, don’t jog etc etc.
It made me really worried. I kept looking over my shoulder, expecting to see an 8ft slavering feline charging at us down the hillside; or craning my neck around corners, worried we’d surprise one mid-nosh on a javelina morsel in the trail. It exhausted me. So, on our penultimate day, I decided that if a mountain lion wanted to eat me, she was welcome to try. I was done with obsessing over it. Worrying was not going to stop a wild animal from trying Katie-flesh, but it would stop me from enjoying my surroundings.
I felt an instant relief, and it made me wonder, where else am I fearful? Where are you worried in your life? Does worrying do any good? Don’t miss the beauty around you in fear of the risk.