When I was little, I used to experience terrors. Like any normal human being, I was and am afraid of things sometimes, but these were different. I wasn’t afraid of anything, I was just afraid. Something would click over in my brain, and it was like a track stuck on repeat, replaying the most horrible emotions through my mind; but, emotions attached to nothing.
I could never really describe it to anyone. I didn’t know how. I still don’t. That’s the best I can come up with, because it isn’t something I can pick up. It isn’t something I can figure out how to draw, or string into words. Most of the time I tried to talk it away. But that rarely worked, especially if I was alone. Usually I had to be distracted by another task.
Several weeks ago I felt it again a few times over. Now I notice it pops up in times of stress (and it has in recent years too, this isn’t something that jumped from 8 years old to 21). But there is a difference from when I was younger. The feeling doesn’t hold me so much anymore, but exists as though intertwined between my fingers. It probably slithers. Yes, I think it would do that. Very gently, very ghostly, around and around the grooves of my hands.
Fear is funny. Actually it is not, it is terribly complicated and bothersome. But challenging, and thus, not only important, but probably worthwhile, too. Real fear has been present alongside these terrors, and for many days I wondered why I was even attempting to endure. That is an interesting feeling of, “surely I should not feel this way all the time?” I mean, right? Surely I should be reaching a point of consistent confidence and bliss. At 21. Come on that’s reasonable. I’m all grown up now. I am supposed to have it all figured out. Didn’t you hear me? TWENTY-ONE.
If not funny, fear is definitely flexible. We meet all over. Sometimes we meet in the air, sometimes upside down, sometimes through a looking glass, sometimes on a small electronic device, sometimes in the dark… sometimes in the light. Most of the time I don’t like it. Usually if I tell you I do like it, fear is on a lunch break. Still, I do always come back to the latter.
I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life – and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.
I was relieved to hear she felt this way, as Georgia O’Keeffe was kind of really hardcore and awesome. And it is freeing to know that it is possible to be terrified every day and still in love with life, and still in love with living.
I think the next post will probably have an agility update. Since that is fun, too.