The Four Letter F-word

It’s not what you’re thinking…

It’s not that word that all men hate when they talk to their spouses or girlfriends after a heated conversation and the only answer they get is…fine.  Nope, it’s not that one.

And it’s definitely not THAT four letter word that can be used as a noun, adjective, verb, adverb, etc, etc, etc, all of the above, etc.  You know the one.

Nope, this is literally a life-changing word.  It’s something that can either make us or break us; it can change the course of our lives.  Have you guessed it yet?  It’s fear. Yeah, that four letter F-word…

wine-stain1-3Thanks JK…thanks for the theme for the next Monthly Wine Writing Contest (MWWC#9).  Really…thank you.  It’s such an easy topic to write about you know?  It’s so….heartwarming and…!  (Can you hear the sarcasm in my voice?)  But really, as soon as I saw the post indicating May’s topic, I knew I had to write something.  After all, fear has been my friend for a lot of years.  It’s not something I show outwardly, and if one were to talk to me, get to know me, they’d never guess that it was something that kept me from doing the things I really wanted to do for many years.

Fear is real…and if you let it, it can consume you.

I’ve said it before and I will repeat:  many of you have, for lack of a better term, “fallen” into this business of wine, received samples to blog about, get invited to numerous events to speak about wine, or advise about wine.  That, my friends, is MORE than fantastic.  I’m happy for each and every one of you, and wish you much success and grander “wine” days ahead.

I am still “networking”, as it were, trying to make a difference as a little fish in a big sea. Trying to awaken the Sleeping Giant, working at getting my name recognized in the wine industry, getting more education, talking to more people.  Yeah, that’s it.  Get myself out there, in front of more people; speak more.  That’s frightening…

I  learned how to sing and play the piano at a very young age.  I did these things in public, often at competitions, in front of a judge for crying out loud!  As I grew older, I got interested in acting, and even did some of that on stage also.  Singing, acting…put me on a stage with lights and a microphone, and I’m good to go…but make me speak in front of people?  Oh. My. Goodness.  Nope, no way.  That was the epitome of fear for me right there.  And now, I can’t run my business unless I speak in front of people.  Talk about getting over your fear REALLY quickly! You can’t talk about wine to a bunch of people and be scared to stand up and do it!

You see, my ultimate goal is to teach; educate others about wine and share my passion.  I’ve started this process, but not without some level of fear attached.  Like the big one:  fear of failure.  There have been many things I’ve started in life, yet never finished. I might as well paint a big “L” on my forehead for all the things I’ve started, but never completed.  That’s how I’ve felt anyway.  But along this journey we call life, I’ve learned a thing or two:  1) no education is ever wasted, and 2) we are always hardest on ourselves.  What I’ve seen as failure, others have seen as experience and knowledge.  Gradually, I am trying to embrace that also.   The big test though, is coming up:  I am planning on taking my WSET (Wine and Spirits Education Trust)diploma in fall of 2014.  But right now, I have no idea what that looks like, or how it will be laid out.  Price? Length of time in the classroom?  Length of time in weeks, months?  And then, how about actually completing the course, and oh!  Here’s a good one…passing the class! I’ve heard of the extreme intensity of the course, and that in itself is scary. During all of this, I plan to be working (not to mention, being a wife, a mother and a friend).  That’s a lot of things going on, and all of those things can give way to fear.  There is one absolute in this:  What I do know, is that if I don’t take this program in the fall, I will have to wait 18 months before it comes around again.  And you know what?  If I put it off once, I’ll put if off twice, and likely even a third time.  I bet I’m not the only one who feels this way.  I’m betting there’s one or two of you out there who can relate.  Like, REALLY relate.  If I keep putting it off, if I just keep shoving it to the bottom of the laundry chute, it’ll just go away, right?

Well guess what?  It’s time to embrace the fear…become best buds with him and show him who’s boss.  It’s me.  I’M the boss of fear and there’s no way he will get the best of me.

Oh, and by the way?  Don’t be afraid to buy that bottle of wine you’ve always wanted, even if you’ve never tasted it.  Fear doesn’t even LIKE wine anyway!  He’s very uneducated and his palate is undeveloped…Cheers!

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will allow my fear to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone I will turn my inner eye to see its path. And where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.” (From Frank Herbert’s Dune)

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11 Responses to The Four Letter F-word

  1. Pingback: Fear Revisited | Joy of Wine

  2. Sally says:

    Embracing fear sounds like a good strategy. It seems to have worked for you 🙂

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  7. connoisaurus says:

    Great piece! I’ve done the same with my wine path, had to put myself out there. No easy task.
    My diploma program starts in a week…
    I plan on blogging about my trials and tribulations, feel free to follow along.
    Won’t lie I myself am I little umm fearful.

    • joyofwine says:

      Yes i would love to follow along! Someone doing it before me which means I’ll get some tips! 😉 Where are you taking it?

      • connoisaurus says:

        Through a school in Toronto, Canada but online… for the next two years.
        The WSET global website is the hub of sorts and so far there’s an array of COO within the study body. Which I think is great!

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