Feelings: Fear

Fear.  I was sitting at home the other night, avoiding my final Spanish homework assignment, when I heard a couple loud booms in the distance.  I didn't think much of them until Crookston took off, terrified, to hide behind the toilet in the bathroom.  Thinking of my little dog in the bathroom and how outrageously he reacted to the noise made me think about fear and how I sometimes let it control my life.

People most often seem to couple the word "fear" with something negative; this turns fear into a good thing.  If you're afraid of a barking dog, your chances of getting attacked are pretty slim  If you fear heights, you're less likely to die, or get hurt, falling from a great distance.  If you fear clowns...okay, I don't know what people think they're avoiding with this one...maybe being murdered by a clown.

So I thought about my fears, the ridiculous ones that rarely impact my life (escalators), and the more typical ones (needles).  Then I thought about fear of the unknown, which led me to remember this quote by Chuck Palahniuk:

And then I thought about how that's what fear is really about: lack of control.  There are times when I will stay home because all of my friends are already out and I'm worried about finding them in a crowded restaurant or bar.  I let my fear of looking stupid as I wander around keep me away from what could be a great time.  For years, I hung out with great guys who treated me well, but instead chose to hang out with crappy guys who didn't respect me the way I deserved because I was used to the subpar treatment and didn't know how to handle the positive (and healthy) attention.

Sometimes I think that we get stuck in who we are and how are life currently is and don't want to take the risk of happiness.  We settle for contentment because we're worried that if we strive for happiness and miss it, we'll be in this no-mans-land that we've never set foot in, and what if it's worse than our current situation?  But what if it's not?
i agree with this SO much.
As I've gotten older, I've noticed that when things didn't go the way I'd hoped (or planned) they would, it has eventually led to something bigger, something I was afraid of wanting.  Failing big lets you succeed big.  Sometimes when things go astray, they turn you into the person you were meant to become.  With every mistake, heartache, wrong turn, major fuck-up, or variation in the plan, I tell myself that it's all happening for a reason.  The unknown is scary, especially for us "planner people."  But a lot of times when I throw the plan out the window and "go with the flow," I end up learning something new about myself.
The unknown is scary because we can't have our tidy plans there.  They just don't work in that intangible future scape.  Life wasn't meant to be lived with neat ideas that always go perfectly.  Life is for dreaming, and messing up, and laughing, and crying.  Life is supposed to be scary and exhilarating because it's a lot better than the alternative.  Safety is for bomb factories.  Live a little.  Branch out.  Embrace the unknown.

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