TG-it’s almost-F. I’ve worked hard this week and am ready to not work hard this weekend. Or to work hard for me and not the man. Either has the one benefit of not requiring an alarm clock.
As I am wrapping up the “10 days / 10 questions” period of self-reflection, I have to admit that the last several nights’ questions have been easy to answer. I can’t say the same for tonight’s question.
Question: What is a fear that you have and how has it limited you? How do you plan on letting it go or overcoming it in the coming year?
Wow. Not only is this a tough question, but one of the reasons that it is tough is because it highlights a vulnerability. Having a fear of something naturally gives that thing some power over you.
It’s not hard talking about my fear of heights (terrified!) or snakes or mice (irrational fear!). But I have other fears that are hard for me to admit because they spotlight my vulnerabilities. Like my fear of being abandoned, my fear of growing old and being alone, my fear of ridicule, my fear of being trapped in an old and ill body with an active mind, my fear of the exact opposite….
These are the fears that have worried me, kept me up, made my stomach feel knotty. Some of the things that I have feared have come to fruition this past year. I have dealt with and survived my abandonment demon this year. That bastard is currently KO’ed in the corner. And while it doesn’t mean that I won’t have to deal with again in the future, for now, I’m good.
I’m actually better than good, because I learned that I can live through facing a fear. I can face it, pull through it, and even flourish afterwards. Go, me.
I climbed on the elevator at work today and a maintenance man followed on behind me. As the elevator moved up the floors, it made some weird noises and shimmied and shook. The maintenance man looked at me and said, “We’ve been having problems with a couple of elevators in the building. Four people have already been stuck in one over on the other side of the building this morning.”
My stomach twisted. On my list of fears, getting stuck in the elevator is right up there.
I would be on the floor of this elevator, crying like a baby
So, naturally, I started to think about my list of fears. In no particular order, they are:
- Getting stuck in an elevator
- Plummeting to my death in an elevator
- Spider crawling across my face
- Eating raw chicken
- Being mistaken for Roseanne Barr
- That I won’t be able to retire (due to lack of $)
- Sitting next to someone with bad BO on a long plane flight and it making me nauseated and then throwing up in mouth
- Anything to do with heights
- Realizing that the “Rhythm Is Going to Get Me” if I don’t run faster
- Bears, anywhere, anytime
That is one thing that I like about growing older. And about taking antidepressants. I have a lot fewer fears than I had when I was younger.
The Indigo Girls have a song called “Kid Fears” where they ask in the chorus “What would you give for your kid fears?” I have always assumed that they mean by that question that the fears of a child are much less serious than the fears of an adult. I have actually found the reverse to be true. I grew up in the 80s, during the middle of the Cold War, the Iran hostage crisis, the Reagan administrations, etc. And I remember going to bed afraid that nuclear war would break out during the middle of the night. Such heavy fears for a 10-year-old.
Our world isn’t any more stable, but now I realize that I have the capacity to deal with a lot of the things that life throws at me. Except for plunging elevators. That shit scares me.