There’s a horror that sets in just before a new beginning. It can cripple you. The key is to understand the process. Like everything else in life, there are stages.
First there’s fear. It is a cold fear that paralyzes. Dive into it with a rush, it is like plunging deep into freezing water — numbing at first, but you can get past it. It’s liberating. Turn around and you’ll see those behind you who will never jump, even though they desperately feel as if they should. Those are the people who are waiting for a push. (It never comes.)
Then the birds arrive. Most birds are glorious creatures. In other areas of your life, you will encounter sweet songbirds who only wish to serenade you. Or large majestic birds who fix their eyes upon you as if to say “Admire me from afar. Respect me. Fear me.” These are not the birds you encounter when you make your leap. They sense you, you see. The scent of your vulnerability carries through the air and attracts them. They will now attempt to feast on you, squawking and pointing out your flaws to provoke you. Their flock grows with each barb. They’re around you even now, if you look closely. You can recognize them easily, always waiting for their moment to cover you in negativity and challenge you. You can deal with them, though. It just takes enough experience to realize that failure is their banquet and you are the main course. Every time you respond to them, they soar higher. Pushing you down propels their own current. Do not acknowledge them, they will fall under the weight of their own screeching. I wish I could tell you that they disappear but they are always there waiting. Tune them out successfully and you will reach the next phase.
The fear fades. Not completely, never completely, but enough. There are new birds flitting around. Do not let them worry you, they are also on a new path and just want to see if you might inspire them. Screeching and squawking are replaced with a melody that reflects your own. It is your time to soar, to create, to feed your own joy. Find what sustains you. Grow your wings. Set your course.
You do not have to travel alone. Find those on a similar journey and help them soar. You know how now. Trust your instincts and choose wisely which flock to surround yourself with. By this time, you can recognize the ones whose talons will hold you back and push you down. Ignore them and fly.