Thoughts On: The Evolution of Fears

You never get asked the question “What’s your biggest fear?” more times in your whole life than the first month of school/college/a relationship.

There’s easy ones, that everyone has an innate fear of, because we’re all humans and we’re conditioned to have a fight or flight reaction to them. The dark. Heights.

I’m still trying to find a rational explanation for fear of spiders. I know they get rid of mosquitos and are a valuable part of our ecosystem blah blah blah, but when I have that much hair on MY legs (at least as much as the huge ones) people scream and run from me too.

I also have a fear of the open ocean. I can’t remember the name of it, but if you’re trying to visualize, think of the movie Finding Nemo.

Now imagine screaming in terror internally while trying to watch it.

If I’m in a dark lake or something, where at least I know there will be a discernible bottom around 30-40 feet underneath me, I’m normally a-okay. But the concept of an ocean drop off, with miles and miles and miles of empty (or not so empty!) ocean surrounding you would be enough to make me wet my wetsuit.

But, and forgive me if these are real, problematic fears for any of you, but aren’t they childish?

When we grow up, and realize that most planes don’t crash, and Finding Nemo currently has a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, we replace these fears with vague, indistinguishable worries.

My most recent favorite has been the fear of falling out of love.

I recently heard about a girl who’s fiance had left her. Which is nothing special and it happens everyday, but it hit me especially hard on this specific day.

Holy moly, you had plans for forever with this person.

Maybe it’s because I’m in a new relationship and it’s going well, or maybe it’s because I’m getting older and the thought of a long-term relationship is sounding more and more appealing.

But the fact remains: people fall out of love everyday, and the most horrible part of it is that it’s no one’s fault.

It’s easy to place blame in these situations, but that’s the reality. No one has that amount of control over their emotions or the way their heart feels when they’re around someone.

I could go on and on about my concerns with fidelity, or whether or not I think monogamy is realistic (I sure as heck hope so), or whether or not I think everyone has a soulmate (I actually do).

But none of this is going matter if one day I turn to face someone, and a smile that used to bring me joy and happiness instead brings me discomfort and guilt.

I should rephrase: my biggest fear isn’t that this will happen to me, but that it’ll happen to someone who I’m still in love with.

For now, I’m trying the cherish the people I’m with. I’m trying to live in the moment and not think about whether or not the inevitable has to be inevitable. Nothing is.

So, trust your love. If you feel it, don’t ever hold yourself back from saying it. And if you don’t, please don’t allow it to take a hold of you and turn love into your new biggest fear.

 

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