There is a lot out there to be scared of. Spiders, seeing your grandparents naked, math homework, etc. And everyone seems to be afraid of something. Heights, drowning, guns, whatever. There’s just a lot of crazy shit out there in the world. Which makes sense when you look at the crazy people in it.
And these fears can change daily. Failing a test, ruining a relationship, being criticized by the people around you. We are constantly on the watch out for something.
Yet there are a few things that everyone seems to be scared of—and maybe this only applies to my generation, but I believe that everyone has felt one of these things in one form or another—things you wish you had never found out about as a child.
Caring, for instance. Yeah, everyone seems to care about someone, even if it is just themselves, but everyone also seems to avoid having certain people care. Parents, for example. Every teen with parents who give a damn wishes that sometimes their parents just wouldn’t. Depressants sometimes wish for the ones in their lives to leave them alone. Guys wish the women they chase after wouldn’t care about relationships. Women wish guys wouldn’t care so much about how they look. Friends wish their other friends didn’t care about what other people think; spouses wish their partner wouldn’t care about how they leave their towels on the bathroom floor. We are all afraid to have some people care, even if it’s something small like bathroom towels. But think of other situations, ones where a teen comes out to their parents, when a pregnancy is unexpected, when you admit to the person you love that you fucked up. Relationships between people can change forever in a matter of minutes.
I don’t know about you, but that kinda scares me.
The feeling of helplessness is another scary thing. I can’t tell you how many friends I’ve had that were suicidal, all of them burdened with problems I didn’t know how to solve. It was the worst feeling in the world to know I couldn’t do a damn thing to help besides listen. And it’s not just advice that people have trouble with. Anyone who has had a family member with cancer knows that same pain, especially the parents of children with cancer. And when it’s not your mental or physical health at sake, it could be your home or family. Many people in the last five years have known helplessness when faced with a lost job. Many have also felt similar when divorce, abuse, death, etc. have separated their family. Helplessness is the equivalent of watching your live shatter all around you.
Now this next one may sound weird, but to some it has caused great reason for fear. Anger. Like caring, it can change everything before the blink of an eye. And not only can it change your relationships, but it can also change who you are. Anger is that make or break emotion that either helps you through your emotions or hinders you, consuming you and your problem until nothing is left to do. After all, what do you do when your anger is just making things worse? You get angry. At yourself.
So, looking back on these things, this caring and helplessness and anger, it can be hard to swallow. Because all of them are inside you, and you can’t really run away.
After discussing this with my friend this morning in the park, I realized that sometimes it doesn’t even matter what happens to you in life. It’s the after that can be worse than the before or during.
Life is always going to have something shitty up it’s sleeve, and you can either be afraid of dealing with it, or just deal with it.
So we walked around the park for hours, talking about how pissed off it made us, even in the pouring rain. And then it was as if we had reached an agreement with our lives:
Life can be messy, shitty, and unfair. Yet despite our circumstances, we are still strong. Why? Because we are here with each other, in the pouring rain, and we are laughing.