We All Get Scared

I start my new job—indeed, shifting career paths—this week, and I’ll admit some trepidation[1]. When we shake up our lives, even for the better, we’re entering uncharted territory. When we reach further than we have before, we’re worried that we’re reaching beyond our graps. And real talk, folks: I get scared all the damn time when I try new things.

If you follow me on Twitter but don’t know me well, you might think that I’m some bold dude what does things without much fear. That’s far from the truth. People just don’t want to see me all worried and stuff, so I don’t broadcast that. For some reason, a few people look toward me as inspiration, so I front that I’m not so worried. But I’m a bit afraid, because the uncharted is always scary. And I trust no one who doesn’t get scared when moving into a new situation.

My first big convention—the first Gen Con So Cal in 2003—was way scary. I was asked to come down and run some GURPS games, which meant getting on a Greyhound bus and taking it for 8 or 9 hours to Anaheim, to where I didn’t know people, and stay in a room with three other people who I would just meet that day. That was the trip where I met Paul Tevis, drank with Jeff Tidball (if memory serves), shook hands with Kenneth Hite (and said something really stupid that he might not remember), and basically got into gaming as a bigger thing.

Moving to Seattle was pretty frightening, in no small part because I had a potential job waiting for me, not an actual solid offer. But also because I just had whatever fit in my car, and maybe $500 to my name when I left Colorado. That was a lot of unnerving, as was taking my job at Paizo where I was to be an in-office editor for the first time.

Of course, I’m sure none of that compares with a couple friends of mine whose first child was born a couple days ago. Joy bundled with fear of the uncharted.

Don’t let what others project fool you. We all get apprehensive, concerned, scared of life changes and of trying new endeavors. It’s okay to be.

– Ryan

Photo: someone going into the darkness seemed appropriate; attribution: flickr.com/photos/ramsesoriginal/6630942345/

[1] But not trepanation.


3 Responses to We All Get Scared

  1. Kevin Richey says:

    The truth.

  2. Jeff Tidball says:

    Glad you took that bus to SoCal!

  3. Bruce Harlick says:

    Good luck in the new job, Ryan. I know you’ll do fine. I have the same types of feelings whenever I start something new; you’re certainly no along there. Anyway, have fun with new thing!