I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand heights. Just being in line for a roller coaster ride, I feel like I’m standing at the edge of a cliff. My legs become Jell-O and adrenaline blurs my mind.
You know the feeling.
But sometimes, fear isn’t as straightforward as sweaty palms and a racing heart. It’s not as simple or logical as, “I’m afraid of heights because if I fall I could die.” And as adults, sometimes we’re convinced it should be that simple—that easy. After all, what is adulthood if not outgrowing that childhood fear of abandonment and loneliness? We’re expected to be more mature and more stable.
Unfortunately, there’s no expiration date for fear. I’ve yet to turn 21 (just a few more days, yay margaritas), but I’m positive I won’t wake up on that morning and discover my fear of heights, having to give myself stitches alone in an abandoned cabin without even vodka to ease the pain, and commitment, are magically gone. If anything, I’ll feel the impending dawn of independence creeping closer and realize I’m even less secure than I was before. The safety blanket of youth I was lucky to have is dissipating, and every time I fall will hurt that much worse. I’m that much closer to having to graduate college, take a chance in a good, stable, corporate job or an even bigger chance in my pursuit of happiness which likely wouldn’t land me in a cubicle awash in fluorescent lights, and the sound of multiple fingers tapping away on keyboards.
I must say, as an ‘adult’, I’m scared of quite a few things.
I’m scared of failing and ending up depending on others for the rest of my life.
I’m scared of giving up and giving in to what so many people call reality.
I’m scared of never being able to be in charge of my life. And I’m also scared of being in charge of my life and getting it wrong.
But most of all, I think I’m scared of living a life where I hate getting up and going to work every day, where I can barely peel myself out of bed, but I keep doing it so I can live. I’m terrified of spending every day, week, month, year, working to live, living to work. Of forcing myself to trudge through a life that isn’t even worth living or fighting for. I’m scared of a life without happiness. And because of this, I have to remind myself again and again until I find my strength that every risk I have to take is worth more than staying in a life where all I have to look forward to is when it’s all over.