Courageous in the City; Terrified in the Country…

Courageous in the city; terrified in the country...
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Written by Susan Jacobs

Fear must have put some bounce in my step because I hit 10,000 before I knew it so turned around to the safety of my mommy.

As a native Manhattan kid, I grew up fearless in the city through the rough 1970s and ‘80s. Navigating the neighborhoods ― good or bad, day or night ― was second nature. Street smarts, peripheral vision, and an edge, not too much, of attitude, always kept me safe. Drop me into the funkiest neighborhood in the middle of the night, and while my heart may be beating a bit faster, on the outside I remained composed and looking like I belonged.

In my five decades of life, nothing bad every happened to me on the streets of the Big Apple…

This instinctive way of handling myself also kept me safe while traveling in other cities in other countries like Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Accra, Ghana, and Luanda, Angola.

But put me in the country once the sun goes down, at night, and I lose my shit.

On a recent visit to stay with my mom in CT, in the heart of the country — her neighbors have cows — I was petrified.

I thought my fear was only in the night when there’s a quiet and darkness unfamiliar to us city folks, but it turned out, fear engulfed me on my morning walk as well.

It was a summer beautiful day and I was determined to get my 10,000 Fitbit steps and let nature inspire my creativity. Walking, around 10am, on a country road, in broad daylight, I was happy as can be, until I noticed the ratio of trees to houses to lack of people.


My head starting spinning out like a crashing race car with fear, imagining episodes of ‘Criminal Minds’ meets ‘Law & Order SVU’ (my guilty pleasure TV shows). And then there was an empty pickup truck by the side of the road. Holy crap — do I run or pray! The teachings of the Law of Attraction tried to jump in mixed with the principles of Buddhism. “You create your own reality,” “Be still, be present, breath, what is meant to be shall be…”

I tried to center myself with yogic breathing, trusting that the pickup truck door wouldn’t suddenly open for me to be abducted and dropped in another state, leaving my mom wondering where I was.

It was uncontrollable dueling crazy thoughts, in broad daylight, with no sign of a threat anywhere except possibly a passing bird pooping on me.


Fear must have put some bounce in my step because I hit 10,000 before I knew it so turned around to the safety of my mommy. Of course, on the way home, I saw passing cars, road workers, and realized that the trees weren’t as dense as I first imagined and that there were many more houses. I wasn’t in Narnia, the Adirondacks, or the Amazon. I was on a pretty populated Connecticut road.

The moral of the story? That’s just it — it was a story. This was a clear case of mental fiction storytelling, which many of us do all day long, letting our mind control us when, in fact, we have the power to control our mind. We can direct our thoughts in any way we so choose. In meditation, we’re taught to see thoughts as passing clouds, not to get attached, just observe as they float by. Granted, that’s easier said than done, but well worth the daily practice of trying.

And then there’s storytelling for our brand, how we position ourselves as an entrepreneur, business, or product. Whether it’s in our written materials, elevator pitch, or selling from the front of the room, here, too we have to control our thoughts, to learn to find the gold in our story, to spark intrigue and curiosity. When in doubt, always bounce if off of someone else, and remember less is more.

Comments, shares, and likes are welcome!  

Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.TM Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the above article. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.

1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?

Challenges are part of life, there’s beauty in every moment, and we are in complete control of how we go about life.

2. What have you learned to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?

Graduation from the University of Life happens with our last breath.  Until then, it’s all about leaning in, learning, getting out of my comfort zone, pushing boundaries, staying conscious and fully present.  It’s about knowing that sometimes I’m not going to get all A’s, but that’s ok.
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?
The journey of self-healing, rebounding, and reinventing myself over and over again until finally seeming to be coming into my own, who I truly am, and with full appreciation and a big hug of gratitude to myself for riding the rollercoaster.
4. We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth–we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are–your Identity?
Feeling like a fraud while simultaneously suffering a tad from Superwoman syndrome.  How can I be a fraud if I’m Superwoman?  Duality doesn’t work!

5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!) Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”

Salsa dancing, time in nature, Kundalini yoga and meditating practice, and laughing at how silly I can be sometimes.  



About the author

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Susan Jacobs

Writing has been part of my DNA, career, and creative outlet for as long as I can remember. My joy is bringing to life stories of the world, its people, and its cultures.

I'm filled with an insatiable curiosity for life off-the-beaten-path and love to share stories of the unheard voices I find along the way.

Giving voice to things that matter, raising awareness, and expanding perspectives is what lights my fire and is the heart and soul of who I am and what I do.

I have contributed a chapter to two books: “Step Forward and Shine,” published by RHG Media Productions, and “Pain, Purpose, Passion,” published by The Round House Press. I'm a contributing blogger to Huffington Post, Identity Magazine, Thrive Global, Yogic Living, and My personal essays and writing have appeared in Pink Pangea, FourTwoNine Magazine, Extreme Sailing Series 2018 Official Magazine, Aquarian Times, Spirituality & Health, PR Week, and IndieWire. I'm working on my first memoir.

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