This is the type of question that, at least I think, doesn’t get enough credit. I mean damn, that’s heavy. There are seriously so many things to be afraid of. Lets start with; sharks, snakes, bugs with creepy wings, heights, being forced to drive stick shift in a zombie apocalypse, an actual zombie apocalypse, creatures that exist at the bottom of the ocean, spiders, the dark, future mother in laws, contracting a deadly disease, ghosts, heights again… you could ask a million people and I bet you would get answers similar to these. Or the obvious one, dying. But I thought a lot harder about this question because, my biggest fear is different than all of these things. It’s even bigger than dying. Because those are fears, but they’re not my biggest, and I am not afraid of death. I mean, of course I am in the sense that it’s unknown, and final, and like the be all and end all of everything that we understand so far. But everyone dies and, I will too, so I don’t think there’s really any point in putting it on my list and actually being afraid of it because I can’t do anything about it. My biggest fear is something that I have all the power in the world to change and control but I fear that I will not. “My biggest fear,” I finally stated after mulling through all of these ideas to come to a concise conclusion, “is…
“Living a life that would be considered ordinary or average.”
Ahhh Run Awaaaaay … as my father wold say in a british accent (don’t ask).
Living a life, no matter how long it may be, and reaching the end to only find that I consider all that I have done to be average. Yikes. That just sounds so boring! I want the fear, I want the adventure, I want the unknown, the struggle, the passion and the grief, I want all of the highs and all of the lows, I want to feel deeply in all emotions, and I want the overwhelming sigh of relief that comes at the end because that was one hell of a journey. I don’t want comfort, ease, content, and the familiarity of normal. I want it to be hard because, at only 25, I have found that my most amazing experiences have come from my most intense challenges. Now of course, reader, your idea of average and my idea of ordinary will be completely different but that’s the beauty of it. We, each of us, have the capability within us to create and manipulate every single situation or circumstance in our lives in any way that we choose.
I learned this lesson when on January 2016 I decided I wanted to move to San Diego and by March 24th of that same year I was behind the wheel towing a Uhaul across the country. In February, as my entire plan was falling apart before my eyes I reached a point where I was at a metaphorical fork in the road. I had already quit my job, scheduled the Uhaul pick up, and started packing most of my things when I got the call that I had no apartment followed by the call that I had no job waiting for me. Ensue panic. I stood there and I looked at myself and I realized that I had two very clear options. I could give up, which felt like the best choice. This idea was INSANE! Everyone thought so! Everyone kept saying, “you can always come back,” or “wow good luck with that!” (in that way that people say things to be sincere but you know that they have no faith that you’ll actually do it.) Or, I could figure it the fuck out. So I stood and started and stood and stared and finally I said to my reflection, “this is where ordinary Erin would stop.” There is where I had my answer. I was going to figure it the fuck out, and I did. It is when the challenges get so great, so overwhelming, and they just feel to hard that we stop. We stay in our present circumstance. But just over that last hard part, just over the last “oh my God why am I doing this,” moment is when we find ourselves on the other side. I realized after the fact that the hard parts, they really are the best parts. Because that’s when we’re almost there.
We have all the power, but what will we do with it? That’s where the second part of this fear comes in. that not only will I recognize that my life is not what I have imagined it to be but still within that realization I do nothing to change it. That’s a battle I will constantly face. I will be challenged, as we all will, and I will do my best to listen to my intuition and make decisions that will lead me to an end that has me saying, “Woah. That was awesome.”
So here I am, my biggest fear is an average life. I consider average to be lacking as many moments as possible that make me wonder what, why and how?
I guess the first step is asking yourself what your biggest fear is. Recognizing it for what it is, something that you have power over, and running with it from there. So take a moment, sit somewhere quietly and really take some time to think about it. My hope is that we can conquer all of our fears together.