October 30, 2013

Being Scared

This is a guest post from @pigwotflies

I was a scared kid. I was the kid in my primary school class who had to sit on the teacher’s lap at story time. I was the kid who didn’t like clowns.  I was the kid who refused to have her face painted for years.

The thing I was afraid of was the unknown. I didn’t want to be scared by what happened next at story time. Sitting on the teacher’s lap meant I could read the next page first and not be scared. Clowns, with their faces hidden by make-up, were frightening. The idea of covering my face up with the same paint, so my face was no longer my own? Even more scary.

I grew up. I got my face painted. I read more books and got to enjoy the thrill of each new page (and got better at predicting what might happen next).  Clowns, well they’re still pretty scary, but these days I can deal with it. By running away. Fast. But that thing that remains is the fear of not knowing, of change, of the unpredictability of events.

I like plans and knowing what’s going to happen next. I may not stick to the plan, but knowing it’s there makes me feel safe. Trouble is, I’m not terribly good at plans either. So the future stays unplanned and remains scary.

Right now, I would like to make things change, but I’m scared of doing so. Life is not all as I would like it to be, but doing anything to alter it seems daunting and risky. I’m not entirely sure what I’m afraid of.  Getting it wrong? Making life worse? Finding a cupboard full of clowns?

So, I try to find little risks to take, small steps into the unknown that make me see that I can do new stuff and the dark won’t bite me. Not usually, anyway. The scared kid inside is just about OK with that.


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