“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
"Omar, in life you have been given every gift, have opened every door you could ever hope for," I was told recently by a friend I have know half my life, during an uncharacteristic crisis of confidence. "Your only problem is that you are too scared to walk through any of them."

Afraid? Me? No, you must be mistaken, I thought. I stick my neck out every day. Just check out my unstilted hair, or, say, my inane comments in class that start with "Back when I worked in oil…". Or the fact that I routinely call the President of the United States' office and ask to make an appointment. Hell, I am flat out CRAZY!

Okay, perhaps that is not entirely true. In fact, it is not really true at all, except for the part about my inane comments. No, when I really think about it, I realize how many fears I actually have:

The fear of failure
of success
of heights
of walking around with my fly down
of not being liked by people I respect
of being loved
of regrets
of leaving home
of not living up to my potential
of being outgrown by my friends
of being alone
of a life without spelcheck
of not honoring my parents' sacrifices and investments in me.

It is the last one that keeps me up at night. There is a certain responsibility that comes with having parents who have always and unquestioningly put my life before theirs, who were involved in my schooling and made it a priority, who introducing me to the arts and sushi and travel and who taught me unconditional love. That responsibility, that debt, started with their emigration from Egypt, which took them far from their home, country, and family so that my brother and I could live a better life; so that I could live a dream, my dream, their dream. Any dream.

For that, most of all, is what the past two years have been for me: a chance to get past the fear of failure and commit to a dream for myself that I can pursue with all my heart and energy. And it has made my one precious life truly a wild one, which, I think, is the only one worth living.

So while I may still have fears, I am not afraid. No, I am not afraid.

— Omar A. Abou-Sayed