Because it’s the end of October and everybody’s lawn is covered in creepy stuff, I thought it high time I discussed scary things. So here is a list of my fears, from smallest to greatest.
- Turbulence on airplanes. Scary, sure, but I’ve flown enough for it not to worry me TOO much. I’m trying to train Drew not to be scared when it happens—as the plane starts to shake I lean over and say, “Righteous! Righteous!” You know, like the surfer turtle in Finding Nemo. Last time, he did it too. It was cute.
- Spiders. One time, I was alone in my classroom and there was a giant spider in the corner. I poked him with a broom, thinking he was a dust bunny. He was NOT. So I stood there, frozen in horror, until I realized I would have to vanquish him. I picked up a literature book (it was an extra, don’t worry), and held it aloft…I think I said, “For Narnia and for Aslan!” Then I dropped it on him, winning that battle and keeping my self respect. In my defense, he was the size of a nickel.
- Horror movies. I’ve watched a few, hoping they would make me braver, but I mostly ended up turning off the sound and hiding my eyes and at that point, does it really count as watching? And I still got nightmares. Sorry, I’m impressionable. And while we’re talking about scary movies…
- All the villains from Don Bluth movies (the cats from Fievel, the evil mouse from NIMH, the owls from Rockadoodle…I don’t know what it is about his animation style but his villains are no joke—they all have long nails and scary teeth.)
- Looking stupid in public (this is low on the list because I don’t often notice or understand what people think of me—I’m sort of lost in my thoughts a lot…it’s possible I’m just always looking stupid, that I maintain a constant level of stupid without knowing it, and I’ve become acclimated to it…)
- Food poisoning. I’m not sure if I’ve ever had it…
- Any kind of illness that makes me miss work (when you’re a teacher, missing work is a giant hassle).
- That people are talking about me behind my back (I know they probably are from time to time…I’m super interesting. Just kidding. But it bothers me more than I let on.)
- Running out of money.
- Anything bad happening to Andrew.
- Anything bad happening to Andrew that I can’t fix.
- Losing someone I love.
- Dying. Dying too fast to say goodbye. Dying slowly and painfully. Dying because I did something stupid, so that it was my own fault.
- Losing my faith—finding out, somehow, that everything I believed in was false. This one is so dark, I can hardly even look at it. How would it happen? I’m not sure—because faith involves believing in things you can’t prove by observation, how could you prove the claims of your faith were false? According to CS Lewis, people just sort of “fall away”, and I came close once or twice. My father told me, “Linds, there’s no religion…there’s one Jesus and you either follow him or you don’t.” Although I was less sure of God’s existence at that point than I had ever been, I chose to believe my Dad, and then to believe God. And I think that was bravery. It didn’t feel good—it usually doesn’t.
I’ve seen people face and walk alongside and shrink from and conquer these fears…it makes me braver.
I know I write about my fears all the time—this blog wasn’t meant to be a treatise on Lindsay’s Terrifying World of Anxieties, but here we are. And it’s the end of October, so it’s on my mind…
Halloween is a night where people celebrate things that give them fear. I’m sort of ambivalent about Halloween, although I love autumn and costumes and candies—but I can’t do fear for fun, except on roller coasters (and only the ones at Disney World, none of that upside-down stuff). I don’t want to play around with it, I want to be able to fight it when it shows its face. And when there’s nothing real to fear, I don’t want to invent things—my own brain and its lack of chemicals will do that for me, thanks.
We won’t be doing anything for the holiday this year—all the parties happen after Andrew’s bedtime, so I haven’t bothered to get a costume together for him. Still, happy Trunk or Treat/Harvest Party/Annual Viewing of the Great Pumpkin/All Saints’ to us all!