On the Agenda: Five Castles and the Grand Canyon

I don't even have any time to say hello - that's how jam-packed today is going to be!

Five castles - FIVE!!  

Here's a sneak peek at two of them: 
Today I have a guest poster for you. Her name is B., and she is not only a friend, but one of my favorite bloggers. I'm so stoked to have her here posting for me, and about something that I'm sure a lot of you can identify with (I know I can, that's for sure). Want to find out what it is? Read on, and then click on over to her blog. 
Hello people of Alyx. My name is B, and I'm quite flattered to be taking up space on Alyx's page. She's the best (as you all know) and it's an honor to know her. And it was an even bigger honor for when she asked me to guest post for you. In the spirit of her honest nature,  I'm going to be honest with everyone reading and tell you all something that I very rarely tell anybody. It's about my biggest fear. I call this letter "a letter to my greatest fear".

Dear heights,

I remember the first time I was aware that you existed. I was 10 or 11 years old and I was at a theme park with my mom. Being the kid me, I wanted to do something outrageous. Like ride the rollercoaster. My mom is scared of you too, so she opted to sit down on the bench outside the ride and watch me while I rode. I don't remember being very scared. I just wanted to go and have fun. The next thing I remember is being strapped in by the park attendant, and waving goodbye to my mom as I started up the incline.
As the ride went higher up, I felt the seat I was sitting in give a giant shudder. The same thing happened on the way down. By the time I got my kid bearings, I realized something. This rollercoaster was woody, rickety, and shaky and I didn't like the feeling one bit. I hung on tight to the side car and prayed that a bump wouldn't send me flying out of my seat, or that the rollercoaster wouldn't fall apart while I was on it. After I got off the ride, I ran to my mom on shaky legs. Since then, heights, you've been my biggest fear.

Since that awful day, you're always in my thoughts. You have a negative effect on everything I do. I cannot ride in a car up a steep incline (or decline) without covering my eyes or putting my head under a blanket. Flying is an impossibility because the thought of being in the air and the plane crashing gives me a cold feeling that I don't like. I'm pretty sure you're the reason I've vowed to never fly again.
And let's not forget all the trips that you've ruined, heights. Like the time I went to the Grand Canyon with my hubby and in-laws and had to be talked into walking toward the edge for a family shot. I nearly threw up from the fear of how high up I was, and it was all your fault.

Or how about the time I was in 6th grade riding a school bus in the mountains with friends and I burst into tears because I looked outside my window and realized that I couldn't see ground.
Or how about the time I went on a wilderness retreat with a group from my church and I couldn't even work up the nerve to walk on a path that went too high for my taste. This is what you do to me, heights. You give me a paralyzing fear that stops me in my tracks and drives me insane. You are something to be avoided, not something exciting or fun to experience.

I'm normally not a very fearful person, but you freighten me to my core. More than spiders or the dark. Even more than a having my head shaved or breaking a nail. I've tried for years to rid myself of the feeling that you give me, but you always seem to rear your ugly head when I least expect it.

I'm a person who likes to be in control. You, heights, are a particular emotion that I cannot get a grip on. No matter how many years go by, no matter how much progress I think I've made, you send me right back to that moment on the rollercoaster so many years ago. A fresh wave of fear, and a rolling sensation in my stomach on a somewhat high car ride always let's me know that you're still there.
Brush with death: Work started on the engineering feat in October 2007 and the bulk of the work finished at the end of last year
High enough to make me lose my breath. Via Daily Mail online
I have another memory of you, heights. It's my most vivid one yet. It's me and my hubby G, standing at an unfenced cliff at the Grand Canyon. He has his hand around my shoulders and is telling me to breathe deeply and open my eyes. As I look around me and see the beauty of the rocks, dirt and very high cliffs, I realize that my fear of you would've held me back from one of the most breathtaking experiences of my life.
This moment brought me closer to my husband and his parents, and earned me a celebratory glass of wine when we finally got back to the hotel. Everyone was so proud that I put my fears aside for one day and did something that I never thought possible. I was proud of myself too. And I realized something very important.

Heights, I close this letter to you with a promise. From this point forward, I will not let my fear of you drag me down. I will run headfirst into new experiences without asking myself whether or not you'll pop up somewhere. I will not let you get the better of me anymore.

Heights, I may be afraid of you, but I won't let you stop me from living. You'll never have that much hold over me, no matter how hard you try.


Anonymous said...

im totally scared of heights too :) but ive never let it impact my lifestyle in any way. but you'll never see me leaning over a ledge on a high area...EVER!

Unknown said...

What a fantastic post - we all have our fears, you're so fortunate your significant other makes sure yours does not prevent you from experiencing it all :)

Anna said...

I think I want to live in that second castle. I'm not picky though, I'd take either. :)

Liz Brown said...

I love castles lately! I like looking at the Christie's book at the European castles for sale :) Especially the ones in Ireland, but I GUESS I would take a German one if I had to.

Kell said...

Okay, I can't even handle my jealousy. CASTLES. I'd be an ecstatic mess if I were in your shoes.
Oh and heights kinda kill me. My fear has stopped me from doing quite a few things that prooobably would have been pretty fun.

Jenny said...

Those castles look amazing! Oh, and I am pretty scared of heights too! I'm your newest follower and can't wait to see more!
Modern Modest Beauty

Anonymous said...

We weren't meant to be so high off the ground, I think. My fear of heights is at its worst when I find myself on a plane. It's just not right.

jan said...

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