Do You Fear What I Fear?: Or, the Unnecessary Christmas Homage Title

Sometimes, I am paralyzed by fear. Often it happens unexpectedly, and other times I know exactly when I'll freeze up. The things that make me scared are many and varied. Some of them are so benign that it's insane to even spend any time thinking of them; others are more real and raw. Here is a list of some of the things I fear, in no particular order:

  • ingesting cleaning products
  • having an aneurism
  • that no man will ever fall in love with me
  • that I will never fall in love with a man
  • that the man I love and the man who loves me will not be the same person
  • not being as smart as my peers
  • my professors not thinking I am smart or eloquent
  • being too smart and seeming arrogant and aloof
  • that I will never meet Don Miller
  • touching raw chicken; getting salmonella 
  • checking my bank account
  • speaking in public to my peers
  • a man like Mitt Romney being president someday
  • that I will someday just end up alone in a rented apartment eating my way through tubes of Pillsbury cookie dough and writing blog posts to nobody
  • walking alone at night
  • that I will never be able to work hard enough to think I've done enough
  • that I will never be interviewed on "Q"
  • that the people I love don't know how much they've impacted me
  • that I will never have the words to forgive people
  • that people will never be able to forgive me
  • posting a link to my last blog post on Facebook
  • my best friends not needing me anymore
  • that I could never express enough gratitude
  • Tumblr being linked to Facebook
  • that I will never be Mrs. B. Cumberbatch
  • getting Alzheimer's
  • dying before I have the chance to say goodbye to people I love
  • that Second Cup will stop making maple-flavoured coffees
  • never being published
  • people thinking I'm not genuine 
  • catching the house on fire by leaving my straightener plugged in
  • that I talk to much and people just wish I would stop but no one will tell me
A friend of mine recently faced his life-long fear. He had harboured a secret from himself and from people who love him for over 20 years. In the past little while, he's decided to dive in headfirst and deal with his fears for once and for all, and to tremendous results. Not only have things not been as bad as he expected, but they've been exceedingly better than he could have ever hoped. He now, for the first time in a very long time, is experiencing an overwhelming love that he never expected. He is humbled and touched. It's quite beautiful to witness.

As I've seen this change in his life, I've begun to think of my own attitude towards my fears. Some I will never get rid of (like touching raw chicken; that's just smart); others I need to face head on. Whether that means I need to start changing the way I think, or start working more or less, or letting go of the things that I have no control over, I have to take action.

I don't think we are meant to live in fear, and I've seen how life can look without it: liberated.

Number of books read in 2012: 22
Current TV series: BBC's The Hour
Current nail colour: Illamasqua's "Muse"


Unknown said…
Lovely post Jill...I took am afraid of touching raw chicken and walking alone at night! Also afraid of checking my bank account, but that's probably a grad student/nail polish addict thing in general. Now, the real reason I commented is beverage related! Have you ever tried putting a touch of maple syrup in your coffee? It's so good, sweetens and adds a hint of yummy maple flavour. I had it first at Post Espresso in St. John's. SO GOOD. DO ITTTT
stacey said…
One time, living in Ottawa, a fuse blew while I was drying my hair, and all power was lost to the apartment. My roommate was adamant that I remember to turn off the lights. I did this. Then I came home at lunch to find that the hair dryer was on. Not only was it on, it was sitting on my bedspread, next to my computer. The moral of this story is: burning the house down with a hair appliance is a very real fear. Never forget the power of beauty.

Also, publishing your fear list is the bravest thing ever. I salute you for owning up to many things people (ahem, me) may never say aloud.

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