It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post. After a 3-day safari then flying back home, I finally got settled to some degree. There is some really good stuff coming so be on the lookout. I’ll kick things off with this short post about building confidence in the face of fear:
The trip to the nearby village was longer than I anticipated. I had agreed to join my friend, Farhan, to help him purchase a gun on the black market for his family. He was about 19 or 20, dark hair, strong, and a resident of Peshawar. My family was visiting and I in no way would have been allowed to make this kind of trip at 13 years old. I snuck off for a couple of hours. I guess my Rogue and Vagabond nature was instilled in me at a young age, if not an innate inheritance.
After a couple of bus rides and a long walk down a dirt path we arrived at the village in the Federally Administered Tribal Area of Pakistan. We sat in a small, hot room without a fan and much too far from civilization for air conditioning. Farhan was insistent that I not speak, not even in Urdu. He would tell the locals that I was from some rural area of Pakistan that spoke a language he hoped no one there understood. It was a precarious game we were playing but I had participated in this scheme before when I made my way into the Taj Mahal in Agra through the local entrance at a fraction of the cost of the foreigner entrance fee.
I sat silently for what seemed like ages as these bearded men kept bringing in different hand guns for my friend to look at. The men had me hold the one Farhan purchased. I had previously only held a Daisy bb gun, and this firearm was much heavier and clearly much more lethal. I shuddered just holding the weapon, but a small part of me felt enthusiasm for the position I had just put myself in. I believe it was my ability to visualize a positive outcome in a time when most wouldn’t that gave me a feeling of security.
Fast forward to seventeen years later and I’m riding through the Kibera slums of Africa with a driver that was nervous to draw any more attention to us. I had to keep the windows up, doors locked, and couldn’t take pictures unless we were moving at a steady rate of speed. I feel that on the other side of panic and fear is a quiet place of calm and confidence. To get there I’ve learned to envision the end result I’d like to experience and make this my expectation. That’s where all the fun is.
I’d like to hear your stories of confidence. Comment below.