The Boogeymen Lurking in My Closet

The night-light was a fixture of my childhood. Like many children I was afraid of the dark, but unlike most children I took this fear to the next level. I was absolutely, positively, mind-numbingly terrified of the dark. The darkness crippled my senses: I couldn't speak, I couldn't move, and I couldn't scream for help. All I could do was curl up into a little ball, shut my eyes tightly, and pray for daylight to come.

I don't know how it happened, but my fear of the dark gradually dissipated. By the time I hit high school, I had mostly overcome my fear. Maybe I became more courageous or maybe I just grew up. Admittedly sometimes I still get the heebie-jeebies when I'm in absolute darkness, but other than that I'm pretty much cured.

I've conquered my fear of darkness, but my childhood fears has been replaced with many adult ones. For instance, I'm afraid of acting too needy so I close myself off emotionally. I'm afraid of rejection so I never flirt with the guys I like. I'm afraid of going into debt so I'm rethinking graduate school. And so on and so forth.

My life is not ruled by my fears, but I recognize that they do hinder me---and I don't like this. Fear leads to cowardice and regret and I don't want my life to be full of regrets. When I am eighty-five years old (hell, even when I'm forty-five), I want to look back at this period of my life and happily say that I lived life to the fullest. And I really don't think I can live life to its full capacity if I let fear dictate my actions.

So now I face the challenge of confronting my fears---whether big or small---and quashing them like little gnats. I'm not very brave and I'm not very strong, but I have faith in myself that I can conquer any trial that comes my way.

Isn't it ironic then that one of the hardest trials in my life is facing my own fears? Isn't it ironic that my greatest enemy is a product of my being?