fear is the emotion i’ve felt the strongest and most recurrently in my life. i talk about being anxious, nervous, etc., it all comes down to fear.

i recall some things that scared me as a kid

  • the green guy from “the mask.” i don’t think i was able to look at that dude until i was in my teens. he still creeps me out and to this day i won’t watch that movie.
  • the face paint of the wrestler sting. it stopped having an affect on me at some point, and these days i have no issue with him
  • i have an anxiety about sudden, loud noises that i know are coming but can’t predict when. my parents had a computer when i was a kid that beeped during power up. i would go to the other side of the room, or cover my ears, when it turned on.
  • similarly, i had anxiety about the bells marking the start and end of class periods in middle school
  • once i literally broke down crying because we were having an earthquake drill in elementary school and i thought there was gonna be a loud alarm noise that i couldn’t predict
  • fire drills in school that caught me off guard did NOT help. even in the college dorms, when the alarm was malfunctioning, i was nervous and had to stay in the lobby with other people because i didn’t want to be alone
  • smoke detectors are a modern source of anxiety for me

these days this general fearfulness presents itself in many ways. i think that just as some people are just naturally charismatic, emotional, quiet, analytical, etc., i am just naturally fearful. it’s not something that i can make go away. it’s part of me.

the best i can do is make use of it. fear can freeze you into inaction, or push you to action. knowing that i am prone to be fearful, i can adopt a perspective where it’s scarier to not act, than to act and risk failure or whatever. i can also use fear as a reminder that i am alive, that i am progressing in the right direction. i think my current stage of life is supposed to be a little bit scary. there’s a lot of unknowns i’m facing. a lot of new experiences, uncertain outcomes, etc. if i am afraid then i am alive, i know a direction i need to improve, and i can overcome that bit of fear and end up a better person.

if something scares me, then it’s probably something i should be doing.