At some point I became the person who thinks, Oh yeah, sure, X terrible or frightening or challenging thing? Why WOULDN’T that happen to me?–entirely abandoning the youthful pressupposition that we’re immune from all the hardest, most difficult aspects of human life. But at some point, all that stuff–the difficult, bad, frightening things–all that stuff started happening. And so I pulled the remaining pile of the terrible possibilities of life into my arms and said, I will allow for all of you. Not that I want you, but I believe that I am neither special nor magical enough to keep any of you away.
And in this way I have learned to steel myself for the worst. I cannot be surprised by anything anymore.
And in this way I have become someone who lives on the cusp of entering her next worst fear–not that that feared bad thing is actually here–but my readiness and acceptance of it for me nearly brings it to life out of the shadowy corner, the pile in the dark room transforming into a crawling creature come to pull me from my bed.
I can’t be right, of course–even my submission to the troubles we face in this earthly life doesn’t mean that I’ll actually EXPERIENECE every bad thing. And that’s probably the more problematic piece to all of this: not that bad things might happen, but rather that I am perpetually prepared to find out that all the sandcastles of happiness on the shoreline of my life aren’t actually out of the reach of the tide.
Today’s prompt: What are you afraid of? Think about your fears—maybe the ones you had as a kid—maybe the ones that didn’t arrive until later in life. Choose one of those fears and write about it. Where did it come from? How has it impacted you? What would change if that fear was gone?