A couple of my "significant life events" might shed further light on my tendency to freeze up under pressure.
The first one was when I was three. I couldn't have been much older, because we moved to another house when I was four. We came back from somewhere, and my parents were busy with my younger brother. I remember begging for the house keys, to open the door. I thought it would make me a grown-up to do that for them. Well, I succeeded in opening the door, and I was so happy that I ran inside with the keys and tried to open an electrical socket.
The next important one was when I was six. My parents are both British, and we went back to visit their family for the first time in many years. One day, we went shopping in a small Scottish town called Kirkcaldy, in Fife. Market Street was a long sloping avenue lined with shops. We were window-shopping for quite a while, occasionally stopping to look at interesting things. One time, I looked up, and my family was gone. I had been looking in the window for quite a while, not paying attention to anyone else, so I assumed that I had fallen behind, and I hurried on downhill, to try to catch up. I kept going, but couldn't see anyone from my family. I looked quickly into several shops, but they weren't there. I started hurrying, thinking I was further behind than I had thought.
Eventually, I became upset enough to cry. Embarrassed by this, I hid behind the door to one of the shops. To this day, I don't know if I was really hiding, however, because the door turned out to be clear glass, and everyone passing could still see me. Finally, a man with a boy a few years older than I pulled me out of there and managed to get my story out of me. He made sure that I stayed put until someone came to look for me. I can still remember, as I looked back up the hill at the crowds of heads on the sidewalks of Market Street, how one head kept popping up, disappearing, and then popping up a little further down. It was my (short) father, trying to look over people's heads, to find me.
Okay, those are fun stories now. But they both had a common lesson, to my mind, at least: Don't take the initiative. Don't trust your ideas, when there's much at stake, because they're bound to be wrong. Don't do what comes naturally, that's where you get into trouble.
So, of course, when confronted by a choice, even a good choice like making a new life for myself, I'm more likely to freeze up.