I think some of my fears are a bit odd, but perhaps all of our fears are odd or unique – just like we are.
First, I fear falling, especially on rocky or snowy slopes. This is a bit ironic, considering my love of mountains and wilderness. Hiking uphill is usually no problem, but going downhill freaks me out. I can think of a couple of people who have walked or hiked with me and have no problem going down even the slightest of rocky inclines while watching the sky, the wildlife, the trees – anything. They have no problem putting their feet in the exact right spot so as to not slip or hit that loose stone. But me? I go so slow downhill and watch every single square inch of where I might put my feet. Because I know I’m going to fall and it will hurt. (I have discussed my fear of pain before. See the entry about tattoos. I won’t repeat that topic here tonight.)
Next, I fear telling people the truth. But not the truth about me. About them. Like when they ask my opinion of something, but you know they really think know better than me. I guess they are feigning insecurity and trying to act humble by asking another person’s opinion. I’d rather do just about anything than have that conversation. Because if I tell the truth about what I think, and it happens to be the slightest bit different than what they think, they will jump all over me. Maybe it’s that attack which I fear. If you don’t want my opinion, or you think my opinion is somehow unworthy, why waste my time and yours? Stop trying to ruin my day.
This might sound common, but I fear not being able to pay my bills. However, this isn’t just a financial fear; it’s complicated by a fear of and for my family. I don’t want to be a burden to my family, and yet, I have chosen a field that has dramatic ups and downs. I have seen many of my friends and coworkers face similar situations in these ups and downs, and I know I am not alone in these fears. (I wish those ups and downs would level off, but that is WAY outside of my control. Unless I get over my fear of pissing off the folks in Washington D.C. and having them do something even more catastrophic to our public lands than they already have done.)
That leads to another hidden, insidious fear: what our nation’s “leaders” are doing to this nation. I think I am coming to the realization that rampant capitalism needs to be tamed. I would like to believe that the younger generation is coming to this realization and that our nation will change for the better, but I see examples every day of just the opposite. We need to take care of this world and its resources – because they are finite and rampant “development” is really bad for us as a species. We actually do need clean air and water. Believe it or not.
Finally, a current fear of mine is what is going on inside my body. And this is tied to the fear mentioned above — what capitalism and our leaders are allowing to happen.
Wait, that sounds weird. Let me explain.
I grew up in North County, St. Louis, Missouri, and Coldwater Creek ran right through my subdivision. In the last five years or so, it has come to light just what was in the waters of Coldwater Creek since the days of the Manhatten Project…. Nuclear waste. And many people who, like me, grew up living around the creek have developed rare cancers and other diseases. Thousands and thousands of people have died way too young and/or passed on problems via birth defects and other diseases.
Not having much money for health care, I found solace in the fact that I had a huge set of blood tests and a CT scan about 6 years ago when they found my gall bladder problems. My blood tests showed no problems in my liver, kidneys, etc., which is why the doctors did the CT scan – because the horrid pain I was in had to come from somewhere. Turns out I had huge gall stones and I couldn’t digest food very well. Upon my surgeon’s advice, I basically cut all red meat out of my diet. My weight is still an issue, but I generally have very good blood pressure and until the last 6 months or so, I actually got semi-regular exercise (even if it often wasn’t enough exercise). I’m lucky that I love fruits and veggies, and I have no problem eating these. And I bake a darn good spinach and feta quiche, which I have no problem digesting. I just need more exercise, and I know that.
But as cancer runs everywhere in my family, I am scared of what some doctor may find sooner or later. Genetics and environment are both against me, in this case.
So that leads me to the question: How do you conquer your fears?