There are a lot of scary things in the wilderness- fierce weather, swollen rivers, bears, blisters, to name a few. But these fears are not the ones that keep me up at night, as our launch date quickly approaches. It is a much greater fear that hijacks my mind and renders me temporarily disabled. Doubt.
For the most part, I have an inherent confidence in myself about this trip and in Paul- a confidence born in real-time experience. I know that we have the technical skill-set, the lived experience and the knowledge to complete this trek. But is that what this journey actually calls for? As my mind wanders into the dark hallways of doubt, other needed voices call to me- patience, perseverance, dedication, ego-lessness. Do we have enough of these ingredients to go the distance? For I am certain that these skills will be the ones that carry us through. It is hard enough to summon these needed friends for myself, but my responsibility is so much bigger than that. I must hold these for Sara too. I will need patience, when she has none. I will need perseverance, when she wants to quit. And I will need confidence when my mind- the biggest critic of all- shouts at me through waves of doubt and causes me to call into question, even the best of intentions.
As parents, we often show strength when our children are scared, but that show is precisely that- an act, a facade, a role brought about by experience. I want to believe that I am the confident, capable, strong woman whom my daughter believes me to be. I need to believe that. For me. For her. But even so, who will hold my strength, when I have none?