Thursday, June 7, 2012

Fear of the Unknown

Fear of the unknown is enough to grip and not let go, a bug that bites and bleeds until you are left cold and bloodless. It's enough to take you in a stranglehold and take all of the oxygen out of you. In life, so many different people allow themselves to be held back by it and allow it to kill them in the end. Part of what makes the unknown scary (well, all of it actually) is the fact that it is the unknown. It is that x factor. You don't know what's going to hit you and so you brace for everything. You let your mind take over and prepare you for the worst, watching over your shoulder just because you think you should. Reality becomes warped and contorted.

This fear has cropped up many times in my life and is cropping up due to a variety of different things. Fortunately, my determination causes me to push through and take risks that lead to opportunities that I am now thankful for.

I was terrified of the finals. A part of me kept thinking about how much I would end up failing them and how much they would impact my final grade. I kept thinking about how I would need to study, study, study, and yet how I would not be able to do so. In a weak attempt to try to push back my anxieties, I pushed back all studying materials and decided not to think about it. Of course, this only made me think of it even more and that made it worse. Plus, as hard as I tried to diligently fill out my packets, I couldn't help but feel that I wasn't adequately prepared for anything.

As my dad reminded me, I would at least receive something. Still, I could only imagine the tests coming over me like a tidal wave and all of that material we had to cover pulling me under. I could see a big fat F and having to go to summer school. As silly as that is to think of now, this remained a very real fear in at least the back of my brain.

I now know that the finals were easy for me, or at least, manageable. Part of me is still freaking out over the math final, but the more logical part of me is telling me that everything will be fine and that I will pretty much turn out alright. That I might possibly even get a better grade than I expected, one that might even cause a boost in my grade.

Fear of the unknown feels like fear of a variety of different things. It feels like multiple fears, because of the multiple possibilities that could result out of said unknown thing. It feels like everything is coming at you all at once, overwhelming you.

Despite my fear of the unknown being a final, most of my "unknowns" tend to be social situations and I've written about my social fears a variety of occasions here. An upcoming one is a new sleepaway camp I'm going to that happens to be co-ed. Despite my positive experiences with the previous sleepaway camp I went to, this one seems to be totally different. Yet as long as I remain calm and look confident, I should probably be fine with that too.

It's so easy for fears to nab you and to take hold of you.  Yet as long as you allow them to do so, you will never be free. As long as fear is around, it will chain you and hold you back from the things that you love. I personally try to take jabs at my anxiety at every chance I get; each time I ignore it, I give it the finger pretty much.

Every day, I try to take a peek into the abyss that I so fear. I will do so tomorrow and the next day. At that co-ed sleepaway camp and even the following social opportunities. It will probably give me even more fun and enriching experiences. It might give me a few disappointing ones, but that's okay. I'll never know if I don't try and so I will try and try and try. Everyone needs to take a peek into the dark side so they can better understand themselves.

I'll be busy giving the finger-dance to my fear of the unknown. I will walk down that mysterious corridor and I will do so with a smile on my face. Not only will I seize the day, but I will squeeze it of everything it has. My fear of the unknown might sometimes grip me, but I will ultimately work hard to shake it off.

1 comment:

  1. I really liked this, and I can totally relate. Finals this year for me was horrible...all of my finals ended up on the same day, and I felt like I had no time to study for the most important classes. I did what I could, but still worried about a couple of the harder ones (since I was running on only 4 hours of sleep).

    I've been to a co-ed sleepaway leadership camp, and I can tell you I was definitely nervous! But it ended up being the best experience of my life so far(: I'm sure you'll have a great time!

    Again, great post. Extremely relevant. I'm sure everyone has felt or is feeling this kind of fear and anxiety at some point in their life. It's those fears that you face that make life worthwhile!