My biggest fear.
It’s not lack of acceptance. It’s not losing faith in myself. My biggest fear isn’t of bugs or spiders, snakes or any other creepy crawly thing. My biggest fear has nothing to do with clowns, masked figures or hairy legs, even though I hate all of the above.
It’s not even failure, although that runs across my mind every day. I worry constantly about where I’m going, disregarding how far I’ve come. But that still allows me to sleep at night.
No. My biggest fear is loss. I’m afraid of losing things. People. Myself.
I’m afraid that I’ll misplace something. I’ll lose it in a time of need and hinder others or myself. I don’t like displacing other people, so this for me is tough. I know that it sounds silly. I’ve been told my entire life that everything is replaceable, but is it?
When I was around 9 years old I would go back and forth to my father’s house every other weekend. Sometimes I would only make it down once a month depending on his mood, and whether or not my step mom was around. She would make him take me on his weekends, and looking back I wonder if he ever would have done it on his own. (Our relationship is much better now. I have her to thank.)
I sat at his house one Summer in his 3 foot blow up swimming pool around the side of the house. My sister had gone out with some of her friends and I was there alone with my dad. He was inside the house working on whatever my dad worked on at home and I sat underneath the trees basking in the sunlight that slipped through them.
All in all it was beautiful day, but I missed my mom. I wasn’t the kind of kid to go away from home a lot. She was only forty-five minutes away, but for some reason I was having a really hard time being away from her. As I sat in the pool, surrounded in the lukewarm water, my blood ran ice cold. What if she wasn’t less than an hour away? What if she left me?
Better yet, what if something happened and she was forced to leave? What if she got sick or something happened and passed away? I’m not sure what child at that age has those thoughts, or what made them come to me, but what I do know is that it was the first time I had ever been overwhelmed with emotion. That was the day that I realized two things.
One: I was terrified of loss. I didn’t know what to do with it. I had never felt it. I couldn’t grasp it, but I knew it was there and could be lurking around every corner.
Two: I realized that I wasn’t like most children. I felt emotion. Fear. Love. Passion. I felt them more strongly than most people my age could even imagine, much less comprehend. I just didn’t know what to do with them yet. I cried for hours in that pool, and couldn’t stop until I heard my mother’s voice over the phone.
It took me years to figure out what any of it meant. I hated my emotions from the 6th grade until Senior year of college. It was then that I started to appreciate that level of passion. I had loved few times by then, but I loved hard. Maybe three girls I had loved, and only two had I been in love with. It’s interesting looking back because I spent so many hours looking back, thinking, “I want that again.” I had lost it.
That’s where my fear comes from.
Around a month after graduation from college I moved to California. I got my dream job, met celebrities, and lived in an incredible place. This was long before my move in September. I’m actually on my second go around.
I thought that the job was everything I ever wanted. I thought I was pushing myself where I wanted to be. The truth was, I was changing who I was to be something I wasn’t. I was trying to make bread out of a brick, and it wasn’t going to happen. Instead I slowly began to hate myself. Instead of softening, I crumbled. I had no idea who I was turning into, or who I had been.
I was changing… and I didn’t like it.
I sat down one night, and I prayed. It was the first time in years. I didn’t rush to read the bible. I didn’t seek advice from a preacher, or involve religion in any way. Instead I simply asked for internal guidance by a greater power. I asked if anyone was out there in the shape of God, that they help me to where I needed to be. If I was supposed to stay, then I would stay. If I was supposed to go, then I would go. I wasn’t sure yet where, but I knew I would do whatever was best for myself. After thinking over it long and hard, I wound up leaving the job and moving home. I decided to start again. To do it differently this time. To not lose myself. To not forget who I was. I didn’t want to change. I wanted to grow. I loved who I had been, I just wanted to be the better version.
I wanted to be kind, and free. I wanted to love and be loved. I wanted to find myself in the eyes of another and not question what their intentions were. I wanted to feel the wind in my face on a Friday because I slipped out onto a back road. I wanted to feel like I wasn’t failing anymore. I wanted to not be lost.
I spent a month in shambles at my sisters. Not sure of who I was or what I was capable of. I didn’t know if I wanted to be in film. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to stay in the South. I didn’t know. I had the post-graduation melt down, and I needed to grow up. I needed to take care of myself. To be self-sufficient.
It was time to win.
So that’s it. That’s my biggest fear. I struggle with it every day. I can’t give up, because I can’t lose. It’s so hard being away from my mother. Being away from the twins. I call home everyday, and I know that eventually a day will come when my mother won’t answer the phone, but I quickly think of something else. I know I can’t handle that thought right now.
I wonder. Will I be that strong?
I knew a girl. She lost her mother at an early age. When we met I couldn’t understand what she could possibly have felt. What she went through. I also couldn’t understand why she wasn’t as open as me. Why she couldn’t feel life the way I felt it. I think looking back, it’s because I never lost it to begin with. Recently her Gram, who she’s been living with since passed away as well. I tried to be supportive, but …
“I have never lost someone that close to me, I can’t tell you what you’re feeling is right or wrong. What I can tell you is that you are one of the most incredibly strong people I have ever met. You are everything that I wish I was. You… have faced my biggest fear, and won. I tip my hat to you, and if I could I would wrap you in a hug. I know that you feel like every time you lose, a part of your love gets cut out. You feel that you can’t get close because of what has happened, but the truth is… I think that it’s the incredible people like you who are out here to help the weaker survive. You’re the one who will hold the hand of someone like me, and help them exist. You’re the one.”
I hope that it helps. If not her, then someone else. Know that you are doing the best that you can do, and we’re all thankful for the way you deal. Good or bad. You’re fine. You’re more than fine. You’re incredible.
I hope that everyone has a good week. Just remember. We all have bad days. That’s fine, but if you’re positive, even the bad things can’t keep you down.
In fact, I was in a small wreck today. It reminded me that when the inevitable happens, you roll with it. You can’t stop things like that. You can’t change them once they’ve happened… And really you’re not losing. You’re just redirecting yourself to win in another place.