Challenge Day 7 - Fear

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Day 7: The thing(s) you're most afraid of.

I don't have many fears. At least not anymore.

I've come to learn that people are usually afraid of things they don't know or don't understand. It's easy to fear something when you don't take the time to see what it's really all about.

It reminds me of the Wizard of Oz and "that man behind the curtain."

Dorothy and her friends were absolutlely terrified of the Wizard (and as a small child watching the movie for the first time, so was I), until brilliant little Toto decided to shake things up a bit. Once they all discovered that the thing they feared was nothing more than smoke and mirrors, it became a lot less scary.

It may seem strange, but I took that to heart.

Most of the superficial things I used to be afraid of don't really intimidate me anymore. Taking the time to break them down into smaller pieces and understand them has really helped me move past them. I spend less time worrying about them and more time learning, which I think is a great alternative.

The few things that I do fear, however, are things that aren't easily solved. I think most people are this way. The fears we typically carry deep down inside us are a lot more complicated than we really know. These are things that will take time to understand and overcome and I'm trying to work through them, one bite at a time.

Not being successful. I am definitely scared that, on my 80th birthday, I'll look back on my life and think that I did nothing important or significant. I want so desperately for my life to mean something and I'm trying to figure out exactly how to fulfill that desire. I don't know why I put so much pressure on myself sometimes but it's something that I think about a lot.

Being misunderstood. I know by now that I shouldn't care much about what people think of me but I still do. For the longest time, I pretended that I didn't care about other people's opinions. I thought that I could trick myself into actually not caring, but it didn't work. Maybe it's a need to feel accepted. Maybe it's because I am a "people pleaser." I just want people to like me and understand who I am and that I am a good person. This is something I may fear for the rest of my life.

Choking to death. Yea, this is a big one for me. When I was about 13 years old, I was at home by myself one afternoon watching a movie and eating potato chips. The only other living beings in the house were our two black labs. A few minutes into the movie, I swallowed a large, thick potato chip whole and it got lodged in my throat. I literally couldn't breathe. I tried to stay calm but the second that I realized I was actually choking, I jumped up in a panic and started running around the room. Of course, my dogs jumped up with me but there was nothing they could do. I ran out to the kitchen and literally threw myself over a chair to give myself the heimlich until I could breathe again. I sat down and cried in the kitchen for the rest of the afternoon. I have never felt so terrified in my life. For years after, whenever I would be eating and I would start to feel like I swallowed something wrong and might choke, I would have a panic attack. Every bite I took after that, I thought I was choking. It's gotten much better over the years but I still get that feeling from time to time.

And, spiders. Yes, spiders. There is nothing on earth more terrifying than spiders. There is no other creepy crawly out there that scares me. Just spiders. Like I said above, when I fear something, I try to understand it. A couple of years ago, I did extensive research on the benefits of a spider's existence and read at length how they eat other pesky, disease-carrying bugs like mosquitos and how their venom has even been used in neurological research. This still did not convince me. I am still absolutely terrified of them with their creepy legs and beady little eyes and blood-sucking ability. Yikes!


  1. Your blog is adorable! So glad I found it through the Blog Every Day in May challenge :)

    1. Thank you so much! It's nice to "meet" you :)

  2. Ohh choking to death is a big one for me.
    My grandmother started choking once, I was sent to call 911, everyone was yelling, crying, the heimlech worked.
    she lived. Thank god.

    But since then choking has been one of my worst nightmares.

    1. Oh wow, thank god she was alright! It seriously is terrifying.

      I love your blog, btw! You are such a talented photographer!

  3. I wrote about spiders too. Here in the UK hardly anyone believes that spiders here bite, let alone break the skin; that is, those that haven't been bitten. However, you could put the biting aside and I still wouldn't love them. Your blog looks lovely.

    1. Thank you! :)

      You're so right! It doesn't matter how many people try to convince me that spiders are more scared of me than I am of them... they will always freak me out!

  4. Found you via SOML.

    I haven't thought about choking in a long time, so I must have gotten over that fear! I was in the 2nd grade and a jolly rancher got lodged in my throat. I was too young to understand that because I was still breathing, I wasn't really choking. I don't think I ate candy for a while after that...

    1. Thanks for stopping by!

      At that age, I probably would've thought I was really choking too, even if I could still breathe. Having something lodged in your throat is pretty uncomfortable!

      I see that we also share a fear of spiders. They really are the creepiest!