"What are you afraid of?" asks the clown looking down on me from the billboard, as if he didn't already know.
|Oh he knows. He KNOWS.|
I have a lot of fears, and many of them are not super rational. But if I were to dissect my fears, they are the symptoms of my real fears and not really my actual fears. My two biggest fears are clowns and getting swarmed by butterflies or spiders. (Note: I am not afraid of spiders, just by being swarmed by them.) Both of these are symptom fears, they are the runny nose of a much bigger flu.
Awhile ago my friend took me to an acting class. She had been trying to get me to go for awhile and I had finally relented. I had stepped away from the theatre awhile back and knew how easy it would be to fall back in. When you first start class, they give you a student interview where everyone gets to ask you questions. We were on the last question and two people raised their hands, my friend and someone else. I called on the other person because I figure my friend either already knows or has a question I don't want to answer.
Eventually my curiosity gets the better of me and I have to ask what her question was.
"What is your greatest fear?"
I thought about it for a moment. Really thought about. Evil clowns? The dark? Being swarmed? Monsters in my closet? Yellow balloons? Getting trapped somewhere? Getting lost and not being able to find my way back? Some of them touched on it, but none of them really sent a shiver down my spine until I looked at their theme and then I had it.
"What do you think it is?"
This was not it. I don't like failing, but I'm not afraid of it. I've failed before and I'll fail again but I pick myself up and learn. Heck, I'm more afraid of success than I am of failure. The only part of failing that instills fear in me is that I won't be able to pick myself up or I won't learn and I'll be stuck. And there it is, my real fear.
|Tell me your fear|
Evil clowns is a symptom fear of the much larger fear of trusting people. That people are not what they seem and are hiding something, but this is still one of my minor fears. Most of my fears are symptomatic of one specific fear.
Almost every symptom fear is really my fear of stagnation. Of staying forever where I am and watching the world change around me, but never changing with it. To be stuck.
So, what are you afraid of?