Yesterday I had a bit of an existential crisis, and so I did the only thing I could think of that always puts me in a better mood: I went to the bookstore.
And as I was browsing the "Personal Growth" self-help shelves, I saw a daily journal titled something like Do Something That Scares You Every Day, full of pages with quotes about conquering fear and making your dreams come true and whatnot.
And as I flipped through it rather quickly, I kind of scoffed. This could not be useful to me. I'm not scared of anything, I thought.
So I turned away, and continued browsing, picked out a couple books to buy (Jesus Feminist by Sarah Bessey and Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert), got a latte and sat in the cafe to read the book I was carrying in my purse at the time. (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. A re-read. Also, very heavy to be carrying around all the time.)
But as I drove home, and made dinner, and sat in front of the fourth quarter of the football game that Matt was watching, my brain was percolating. If I'm being honest, I'm afraid of LOTS of things.
I'm afraid of falling. Of failing. Of getting hurt, or embarrassed, or hurting someone else on accident. Of disappointing others.
I'm afraid of making the wrong decision. Of permanence. Of how impermanent my existence is.
I'm scared that I won't make an impact. I'm scared of alienating people with the things I'm passionate about. I'm scared that I am passionate about too many things, and that I never make the proper effort or time to follow through with any of them.
It scares me that I still don't know what I want to do with my life. It scares me that I'm getting closer to 30 and still don't know if I want kids.
I'm afraid that I've lost my creative spark from lack of use.
It scares me that I could go so long without writing.
It scares me that I am still so ignorant about so many things, even though I am trying hard to learn more about other time periods, other cultures, other experiences.
And so maybe I need to stop thinking I've got it together, and start dealing with these fears. Maybe if I have a grip on what scares me, I won't be so afraid of squandering my own existence.
What are you afraid of? Have you taken active steps to get over any of your fears? What things make you feel better when you start questioning everything?