Of what, I can’t really say. I’m afraid of my mom dying. I’m afraid that Dan and I won’t make enough money to be okay. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to find a good job because of my own self-sabotaging habits. I’m afraid that Dan will die in some freak accident and I’ll walk into his room and that handsome, sweet face will be pale and cold and still and nothing will matter anymore. I’m afraid of my mom feeling completely alone and abandoned when I move out, and that something will happen to her while she’s trying to do something stupid and dangerous that she could do when she was younger.
I’m afraid that a sect of ISIS will attack my loved ones for being too American or too Jewish or just too free.
I’m afraid of death.
I’m afraid of everything.
I’m afraid of the immense potential for me to live out my whole life without completing a single project that I know would inspire so many people.
Part of this is just depression, of course. The disease that surreptitiously sucks the happiness and beauty out of each moment until you’re terrified and empty and can’t seem to pinpoint why or when or where it all started.
Part of this is my insecurity. I’m afraid that my family looks down on me for being too liberal yet too conservative. For being too unmotivated yet too opinionated; for being too overweight yet too pretty. Every moment with Dan is silently undermined by the fact that I fear that my mom doesn’t approve of him and is too afraid of alienating me to say so. I alternate between being combative and passionate and uncaring of what other think, and being so scared of offending anyone that I am immobilized. Part of this is knowing that, back in school, people believed rumors that I’d slept with this person and was stalking and harassing that one, among a handful of more bizarre things. I’m sure there were more rumors that I never learned of. What I’m still too weak to get over is that people I loved and trusted spread these lies and that people I looked up to believed them. And in that sense, I’m afraid of letting go of these heroes I’ve created; these individuals I’ve put on pedestals who it breaks my heart to admit are just as selfish and petty and flawed as everyone else.
I’m afraid that I’ll just be good enough.
I’m afraid of the implications therein; that being kind and generous and godly for some reason aren’t enough in my own eyes. I’m afraid of my own ambition.
I’m afraid I’ll accidentally injure or kill my own pets. I’m afraid of sticking up for myself against the wrong person and getting shot or beaten or raped. I’m afraid of the giant invisible spider that will bite me if I don’t check every time before I sit down on the toilet. I’m afraid of cancer. I’m afraid of crowds. I’m afraid that I’m going to squander this gift of food and shelter and safety (that I am in no way worthy of) being afraid of everything.
So … that’s that, I guess.
And now the thing to do is get over it and live my life anyway.