It can be figured that what we don’t do in life is really just a sum of all our fears compounded.
I was meandering through the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport when a lovely Delta lady asked if I was interested in a Skymiles American Express card. I politely declined, but yet we kept chatting for a bit, as I had some time before boarding due to a delayed flight because of rain at JFK. She slightly grimaced when she found out I was heading to Tel Aviv, Israel.
“Aren’t you afraid,” she cautiously asked.
Yes, yes I was, I replied. I was terrified. We went back and forth about my fear without addressing it explicitly. After a few moments she interjected:
“Wait—are you afraid to fly? Oh, that’s nothing! I was talking about the region!”
A fear of the Middle East never entered my mind…mainly because my life has been dedicated to research of the area, but also because of my fear, which probably made me feel that I wasn’t going to get there. But thanks to the good folks at Delta I did get there—not only once but twice and a third on the way—but that doesn’t mean I have totally eradicated my fear.
Like everyone, I have fears–some logistical, some totally irrational. There are five fears specifically that I have that make no sense in the bigger picture.
Those five are:
I have done it and will do it again, so I know that once I am in the air I am OK…but getting there, that’s the challenge. I have had people with masters in physics and engineers explain to me the technicalities that allow planes to do their thing, but that does not make me any less optimistic about it. I believe in Wyle E. Coyote physics: That there will come a time when planes realize they should not be in the air, hold out a “YIPPEE!” sign and fall straight down until they are out of sight and we see a mushroom cloud. So, for now, if I don’t need to fly, I will stick with Amtrak.
There is no foundation for this one in my life. I have not been bitten by a wild animal, nor has anyone in my immediate family or circle. It is probably because of the incurability of it, the fact that by the time you know you have it you’re done for…yeah. Freaky.
This is a little more founded than most of these, but it is still fairly irrational as I personally have not lived through this trauma. If I had to trace it back to some place, it would probably be from watching an episode of “Unsolved Mysteries” where a dog breeder’s property went up in flames. I was probably seven, and was supposed to be picking up my new puppy sometime after that show. Clearly, then, I was worried about where my puppy was, and I thought for sure it was going to start on fire. Thankfully that never happened, but be sure I am still extra cautious about candles and electrical outlets in my house.
4. WATER AT NIGHT.
I don’t think this is too unique of a fear, but I am not a fan of water after dark. It’s so dark, we can’t tell how deep it is…it creeps me out. Generally when I have those freaky falling dreams, it is into dark water. True to my Minnesota roots I love the lake and all that entails, but at night, I like it more from the shore behind a bonfire.
Spiders are gross. They move all sneakily on those eight legs. Some bite. They suspend in the air, swinging all around. They’re gross. That is all.
Opening up is also a fear of mine, so we will award that one honorable mention in this list…so don’t leave me hanging and afraid: What is one of your biggest fears?