Fears | Teen Ink


May 16, 2010
By Ellen212 GOLD, Sebastopol, California
Ellen212 GOLD, Sebastopol, California
11 articles 0 photos 5 comments

In this world, there are many types of fear. Humans no longer follow natural instincts and therefore, react differently in situations then animals do. The beasts of our world who retain and follow their natural instincts seem to live only to survive. Humans, however, lead their lives on earth for many reasons and follow numerous pathways and goals in their time. In modern society, fear is considered a weakness, something we are taught to quash at a young age. Everyone has fears, but many choose to or are taught not to express them; humans try to be strong in their lives, which means that fear is not often articulated.
Fear is something that all species have; it is what keeps us alive. Fear is an instinct to live, it teaches us the things that can hurt us and sends messages throughout our bodies to avoid that harm. Without any fear, we would not know what would kill us until we learned, but that experimentation could also bring about our end. As children, we have parents watching out for us, and they teach us not to touch hot things or use knives without awareness, so we learn that way, but how do we learn about the things that are bigger then us? Some things that scare us aren’t as explainable, or they are something that we must learn on our own.
Life goes on as we grow up and are forced to face the world alone, without those who loved and raised us. Not everyone leaves that warm world of childhood at the same time. Many have hard lives where parents die or their worlds are torn apart earlier then anyone should have to witness. Out in the wild world, we can find people to share our lives with and trust, but we can’t guarantee that they won’t leave or hurt us. There are no certainties in the world and many things to fear; yet we are told not to show that particular emotion.
There are countless things I am afraid of. I understand the world is a big place and that so much is going on all at once; it’s a challenge just to be there without any help from others, because that’s not how it should be. Being afraid is a terrible, paralyzing thing, but doing it alone makes it a million times worse.
There are two kinds of fear that I experience in my life. There is a situational fear that with time vanishes, and there is a lasting, heart wrenching fear of things greater than the explainable.
The first fear is rooted in anticipation, it makes my heart pump and I feel like I’m waiting for something, I just don’t know what it is. This fear grips me when I don’t know what’s just around the corner or down the hall at night or when I’m watching a thrilling, grip-the-seat sort of movie. I feel like anything and everything could be lurking in the darkness of night, especially when I’m alone or in a strange place.
This first fear originates in a fear of the dark. When darkness descends, things become unknown and the comfort of light and daytime vanishes. Nighttime has an essence of mystery to it and there is a feeling of things lurking in shadows or behind trees and walls. The darkness of night can cloak any danger, making it hard to be aware of before the danger strikes. Night prompts an inability to be fully informed about surroundings, which makes me nervous and scared.
The second kind of fear I feel is that of life, of the world, and of the future. This is not to say that I am forever crippled by fear in my day-to-day life, but there are moments that my heart and mind are filled with images of the world – my future – and nothing about them is at all okay. I’m afraid of growing up and letting go of the security of my childhood, afraid of reaching out into the world and knowing that I must stand on my own at last. This fear comes in waves, sometimes at night, when I lie awake thinking about the eternal tomorrow, or it rears its ugly head when I witness a cruelty of the real world.
As children, we are always protected by our mothers, fathers, guardians, or loved ones, and there is an illusion that no harm will come to us. This illusion, for that is what it is, has been broken for me. I see the world now for all that it is. I see harsh truths, innocent people harmed, and dreams trashed beneath our feet. Reality is something that as children, we are sheltered from, but as adults, something we must face head on.
Fear can grip your life forever, or you can let it slide off your back. A life lived only out of fear is not a fulfilling or worthwhile one. There are many joys in this world that make up for everything else. There are things to naturally fear, but there are so many more to love and embrace and enjoy, because life is for the living.

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