On day four of the 21.5.800 adventure, there was a prompt to write about fear. I would suspect that many of the people taking part in the challenge wrote about a fear of writing — I don’t know for sure, just a guess. But, given the fact that I didn’t write anything on day 4 of the adventure, you can assume my fears are not of writing. I’ve learned enough about writing to know that if it happens, for me anyway, then it just happens. I’m not a writer (I just play one on this blog), so fear of writing doesn’t creep up on me. Fear of sharing. Fear of comments. Fear of people using these words however they want to… ok, maybe I do have a fear of writing. Anyway, that’s not what I thought about when I first looked at the prompt. I first thought about the fears I had as a child that I’ve learned to keep mostly hidden — I’ve written about fears here before, but I’ll share another one with you now.
When I was young, I had a profound fear of being in my house alone. To be honest, I would not be in my house alone — ever. Not at night, not during the day… ever. If I got home from school before everyone else, I would always sit outside and wait… as long as it took for someone to get home. I usually would wait at the end of the driveway, the farthest point from the house, just sitting there on the flower boxes. I would make one of those wishes that you want so desperately to come true, one of those wishes that bring you to tears with the hope that it will come true… and there I would be, at the end of the driveway, sitting on the flower box, wishing the sun to stay in the sky just a few more minutes because when the sun disappeared a very real separate set of fears would take hold of me. Fear of the dark is not one I’ve quite gotten over yet — there’s still time I’m sure.
There was never a reason for my fear of being alone in the house — I have never lived in a house that was broken in to, I never even knew of any houses that had ever been broken in to… small towns can be like that. But, the fear was there. The fear that if I entered the house alone, then there would definitely be someone waiting in a closet somewhere in the house… just waiting for me to come home alone. It stretched into my early adult life as well — I was afraid to go in to an empty house alone.
I guess I don’t really understand fears and where they come from and how they work. Sometimes they just appear out of no where. Sometimes they lurk in us waiting for the moment to pop out and surprise us with their vicious voracity. Sometimes we know they are there, hidden away, pushed far from the surface. We have choices when it comes to our fears — we have choices. We choose to stay or we choose to move — stagnant or flowing…that’s the choice.
I don’t mind going in to my house alone anymore — the quiet gives me momentary comfort. I enjoy the solitude that an empty house can bring — the noises you hear when the quiet surrounds you. And as for the fear of the dark, well, a few strategically placed night lights have helped with that one. Fears can last a lifetime if we let them or maybe they vanish on their own. We make choices — getting over fear is a choice.
I never hesitate to enter a house alone now — the fear of someone waiting in a closet just for me has subsided all on its own… or perhaps, my 132 pound puppy helped chase the bad guys away.