At first I was loathsome to break the little pattern I was developing of fiction, blog, fiction, blog. But considering the next little piece I want to write is still just a bunch of loosely connected ideas bouncing of the inside of my skull, I figured I should use my time a bit more productively. Study for my midterm. Or write a blog piece. Maybe both.
Of course, with the decision to do a blog piece I needed something to write about. I could talk about how I went out with some friends Saturday night, but nobody wants to hear me talk about my drunken night on the town. There’s also not much going on in the last few days, or the next few. I guess its noteworthy that one of my housemates decided to come back early so he could get some school work done, so I won’t get to see if I descend into paranoia. But other than that, nothing really of note.
So, I will talk about something I don’t think I have ever really talked about, or even put much thought into.
I’ve never had a friend or significant other who I was close enough with to really get into a conversation about this. So, I have never talked about it. Without talking about it, there was no reason to think about it. It isn’t easy to even sit down and come up with a list of my fears, so much of what I would write would have a question mark next to it. On the subject of irrational phobias, I am pretty sure I remain unafflicted, but I still have some fears that are silly, but not quite irrational. I guess it makes sense to me, to start with the big, and move to the small.
My father is scared of heights, my brother is scared of insects. Both in the phobia sense, my brother will scream like a little girl at the sight of a centipede, and my dad gets sweaty, nervous, and just a tiny bit hysterical when we get anywhere he would consider a height. I have neither of these phobias. However, I am by no means comfortable leaning out the windows of tall buildings, but I enjoy drop zones, and airplanes, and other things that would terrify my dad. Bugs don’t bug me. I will happily squish a bug for someone, swat a fly, or remove a hornet’s nest. I won’t hold a tarantula though. I was at a birthday party as a little kid and there was a reptile guy, I was holding the spider and he was talking about how they will shoot all the hairs off their body when they feel threatened. To demonstrate this, he poked the spider, intending it to bristle its little hairs and tense up. I guess he had poked it one too many times, because it shot those little hairs into my arms, neck, and chin. It stung a lot. So, I won’t hold tarantulas anymore. But I don’t think of it as a phobia.
As far as phobias go, I’m pretty sure the closest thing I’ve got is my discomfort with water. Which is a silly thing to read from a person who loves to swim, and row, and kayak, and canoe, and dive, and in general just be in the water. But I do have a discomfort around water, specifically large, deep, expanses of water where you can’t see anything but water. The ocean basically, and the great lakes if you find yourself too far from shore. I am not sure what it is about it, but there have been a handful of times where I was swimming, or in some kind of boat, and I could no longer see the shore, in any direction, and it always makes me incredibly nervous, and uncomfortable. My heart rate picks up, my breathing gets shallow, I start to sweat a bit. I don’t like it.
Maybe it’s the concept of being so isolated from land, which is instinctively where I know I belong, maybe it has to do with the fact that the ocean is so unexplored and anything could be lurking below the waves. Or maybe I just have a healthy respect for the sea cultivated over many years of being surrounded by sailors, rowers, kayakers, canoers, and others who spend most of their lives on or near water. It’s hard to say, I’m definitely not qualified to classify something like this.
A step down in size, is my fear of getting old. This one I know for a fact is a fear. I dread my birthday, to wake up one morning and to be another year older, I hate that feeling. I think mostly I am afraid of waking up one day to find myself old, alone, and without accomplishments. I am not sure where this fear comes from, perhaps from the fact that I don’t have a plan in place for my future, perhaps from the fact that I either mess up my relationships, or pick people who treat me horribly. It’s also possible I’m just very aware of my own mortality. Again, not something I’m exactly qualified to quantify or classify.
To go even smaller, is my fear of social rejection. And when I say its small, I mean it’s very small, more of a nagging insecurity at the back of my mind than a fear. When I get invited out, I worry that its some elaborate ruse to make fun of me, or that I was invited, but deliberately given the wrong information so I miss it. This fear doesn’t do much, I still go out, I’m still social, it just makes the car ride, or bus ride, or cab ride, or whatever a little bit nerve-wracking. But ultimately it amounts to nothing more than just a nagging feeling right before I do something.
Around the same scale, is my dislike for needles. I get them all the time, a tetanus booster last summer, flu shots every winter. But I don’t like them. I can’t bear to watch the needle go in, I don’t even like to see the needle beforehand. I have a pretty good idea where this one comes from, I got really sick in elementary school, so they did lots of tests. Especially blood tests. Over six months I must have given half the blood in my body. Don’t like needles anymore.
At the smallest end, is this little tiny fear that someone I know is going to see this blog, and recognize it as mine. I’ve done my best to keep it anonymous, but someone who knows me well just might recognize me. There’s a blog I would like to follow, the one that inspired me to start this one, but I worry they will recognize me. I could deny it of course, but I’m not a good liar. So, I will refrain from following that blog, or liking the posts, or even viewing it while I’m logged in to WordPress.
That’s fear, all of it that pertains to myself. I don’t know what I hoped to accomplish with this, but it was interesting to explore it this way. My next post will be a bit more interesting, I promise.