In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Fearless Fantasies.”
Incapable of feeling fear? Yes! I am probably the most anxiety ridden, fearful person in the world. Okay, that’s probably not true, but I do tend to worry more than others. I err on the side of caution more times than not. I have always disliked this part of me, but I have come a long way from the fearful person I used to be.
When I was in 8th grade, our school was putting on the play “The Wizard of Oz.” I was so excited about this, but as one of the shyest people in the school, I was not an ideal candidate for trying out for this play. I decided that I was going to try out for the part of the scarecrow. It really was perfect for me. You see, when I was just among friends, I was a loud, obnoxious, goofy girl. In school, amongst all of the students, I was a shy, quiet, wallflower who was content with just blending in.
I practiced every night for a week for this part. I worked on speaking in front of people, the speed in which I talked, and the loudness of my voice. Then the day of auditions came. I went into the auditorium after school, and found my seat. We were supposed to sit according to what part we were trying out for. As I looked at the other scarecrows next to me, I could feel myself get anxious. These people were known for being outgoing, and they were well liked. I didn’t fit in with this group at all. I watched as the Dorothy’s auditioned, and then the Lions. They were all so good! I could never compare.
And that was it. As they called for the scarecrows, I stood up, and walked straight out of the auditorium. I was beyond fearful, of not only failure at trying, but at all of the others laughing at me as I auditioned. I ran all of the way home, and cried for hours. I was so mad at myself. I failed me of the opportunity to do something I wanted to do, and robbed me of the chance to blossom. I was embarrassed at the fact I left.
Would that have changed my life if I would have stayed? Maybe. Through the rest of my school days, I stayed quiet. I was editor of the yearbook, but avoided trying out for any activities. I dreaded speech class, because it was so hard to talk in front of people. I graduated with out ever really being known by my peers. In college that all changed. I excelled at speech class, and made a lot of new acquaintances. I was no longer scared to talk with people I didn’t know. I became a more outgoing version of me.
Sure, I still have fears. I am deathly afraid of tornadoes. Probably always will be. When I was 10, I was home alone during a tornado. I couldn’t reach anyone by phone, and I was terrified. That moment pretty much set the stage for that fear. I worry about different things now, because I am a mom. I am scared of my kids getting hurt, making bad choices, failing as a parent, etc. But those just come with the territory. I have learned that it is okay to have fears. What really matters is if you let them control what you do in life, or if you control the fears, and keep them at bay.