Fear. What am I afraid of? If you ask, I will tell you “nothing”. But if I think about it, that’s not really true. In reality, fear rules my life. All of my choices are made from a position of fear of the other choice. Even when I don’t make a choice, it is because of fear. I am so lucky my life turned out as well as it did, because most of the time I wasn’t guiding the ship, I was simply reacting to the storms.
I am afraid of being wrong. First and foremost, I would say that is my biggest fear. And in order to avoid making the wrong decision, I don’t make any. I just let things happen, and then react to them – not a good way to lead one’s life.
I’m also afraid of hurting my family’s feeling – especially Mom. I feel responsible for ensuring that everything stays on an even keel. Maybe that’s because when I was a kid, if anything upset Mom, we all paid the price. She wouldn’t freak out, but she was so moody that she would either pout or lash out in retaliation. That was fun, trying to avoid that. Then of course there was Dad and his temper. If you upset the apple cart he would fly off the handle and punishments would ensue. And lastly, little Karen, who would simply shut down when it all become too much for her little mind to handle. I never wanted my baby sister to be so shut off from her emotions and her world – and me (I love her).
I fear the unknown. Like a dark hallway gaping in front of me, I am afraid to step into the darkness for fear of what might be waiting. When in reality, this dark hallway is in Disney World and there are only good things ahead. What is so scary? There is nothing ahead of me that I cannot handle, and so there is nothing to be afraid of. This fear of the unknown is a killer. It has kept me stuck in a bad situation, rather than risk the unknown of change. What a fool I’ve been to linger so long in this place.
I’m afraid of having a boyfriend. I don’t know how to be with someone. I want everything my way and I am not willing to budge on many things. Plus I know exactly how I want to be treated and I doubt any man can provide what I need. I know that no one will measure up, so why even waste my time and serenity on some fool with a dick.
I am afraid of being alone. If I am not the perfect daughter, the perfect friend, the perfect girlfriend, the perfect employee, no one will stand by me. They will abandon me for someone else – someone better.
I am afraid of regret. I don’t want to be 100 years old and be plagued by all the living I haven’t done. This is my one chance, what if I miss it?
I’m afraid I don’t really care as much as I pretend to. Why do I keep pushing myself to be more, be better. Can’t this be enough? Maybe I don’t really want any more than I already have. If I did, wouldn’t I have made sure I got it? Maybe I am right where I want to be.
I’m afraid I will finally know what I really want. What if all the things I want for myself are at odds with keeping the people in my life happy. What if I want to live in Paris, marry a woman, become a muslim, live in a commune, adopt 15 kids and 75 cats? What if I want to sell my house, quit my job, cash out my IRA, and travel the world non-stop for the rest of my life?
What if all of this change brings up emotions I am
can’t won’t don’t want to deal with?