November 12th, 2007

LJ Idol

LJIdol 4.02: What terrifies me

Twenty-three years ago I stared Death in the eye, and I won. What else can possibly scare me?

Indeed, I am hard pressed to think of a single thing that truly produces fear in me. There's plenty of things I don't like and don't want to consider the possibility of -- cockroaches, being homeless, hard drive failure, never seeing the ocean again, asparagus -- but none of those things fill me with anything resembling mortal terror.

No, my greatest fear is something much more insipid. Its filthy tendrils wrap themselves around my core and never let go. The thing I am most afraid of is more subtle. It is behind the scenes of my life; always there but only sometimes acknowledged.

I fear that I will never make something of myself, that I will never leave my own mark on this world. I know that if I continue on this course, if I never admit to my shortcomings, if I don't ask for the help I need -- I never will make anything of myself. If I don't take steps now, I will become my mother, bitter and shrewish in her old age.

Inseparable from that is the fear that I will never be happy -- truly happy. I see bright pinpricks of the happy, like stars in the firmament of my depression. But they all feel so far away; and so many feel like mere reactions to external things. If I'm lucky, three times a week I get a short-lived internal feeling of being 'on,' where everything's right with the world, where everything is in perfect rhythm, everything in perfect motion. It's not enough.

So yes. I feel so much of the time that I'm the waif outside, gazing upon gluttons at the table of happiness. I want my share; I'm waiting for my strength to go and take my piece off that buffet.