I used to say the unconvincing phrase “I’m not scared of anything,” with a casual pft, just to add a bit of humor. But I lied, obviously. Humans, and every living creature, has a fear. This fear can consume them or they can move on.
I’m terrified I’ll never amount to anything.
This is a very common fear among high schoolers desiring to go to college, yet looking at the employment rates even for BA’s. Here’s the thing: I’m not worried I won’t get a job. I’m an efficient typer, I work very hard, it’s not too difficult to get a degree if you try hard, and I am determined. So, no. I’m not afraid I won’t get a job. I’m paralyzed by the thought of getting a job and never doing anything else. I’m worried I’ll get a job and do that for the rest of my life, always putting off living until a marriage and kids come along, ruining my chance of living my life for me. Not to say those are bad things, but what if I never get that chance to bungee jump? Or parasail? Or parachute, or go on crazy adventures? And what about my writing? I’d love to write something that speaks to people. That influences. That comes off the page and wraps around them and causes them to chase the words until they are true. I’d love to walk into a bookstore and walk right up to the counter and ask where my books are, and I’d love to go sit and read my own book in a bookstore, no matter how narcissistic that is.
The thing I’m terrified of is becoming like our parents. Becoming someone who just goes to work. Hold up, correction, is their work. I would never, ever, ever want to neglect a child and become so consumed with jobs and tasks that the people they involve get lost in the shuffle and Control comes to be the top card in the deck. I’m afraid of being a person who no longer lives for others, but only for themselves. I’m terrified of being a woman who is so consumed with her career and her own self interest that she loses that love of other people, people who are hurting and in need, or maybe don’t want help but still it. I’m afraid of slipping into a routine, of not living, of simply existing.
I get so scared of this. I don’t want to be normal, I don’t want to be regular. Not because I want to be a hipster (although that’d be nice), but because that’s so against everything I am. I want to avoid the inevitable, I want to keep my ideals, I want to be free and alive instead of tied down and terrified of breaking social norms.