Sunday, April 25, 2010


Have you ever woken up from a nightmare, and wished, even if it was just for a second, that it would go on? Even if you were frightened out of your mind, you wanted to know what would happen, when you were afraid, what would happen if you let that fear over-run you for that time. You want to know what it would feel like to be afraid.

People say it's a very noble thing to be afraid of fear. I don't think I agree with this. Fear of fear? How does that sound appealing? I would rather have an irrational fear of falling off of ladders (which I do...) than being afraid of fear.

But somewhere along the line, that ability to distinguish when we become afraid of fear has been lost. I don't just mean me, I mean everyone. Somewhere inside, everyone is afraid of that feeling of being afraid. We don't want this emotion to rule our lives, because it's something that we cannot control. Sure, we can control our tears. We can control what we eat, we can control procrastination, anger, jealousy, pity, and all of these other emotions. But fear? We're afraid of that one, which is why we let it rule over us.

I had a nightmare last night. I woke up, and I was afraid, and I mean really afraid of this nightmare. But then I thought about it, and it was stupid. My fears were irrational. The thought of being in a completely pitch-black place with no-one and just some unknown entity is frightening, but the identity of the unknown entity was Darth Vader, which just turned the whole thing into one big irrational nightmare. But I lay there, thinking about this stupid dream, and why I was so afraid of it. And I realized, I was afraid of being afraid. Honestly, can't you say that you would rather be pissed off than scared out of your mind? And I don't know about you, but my fear button is hot-wired to my tear ducts. As soon as I get scared, I start to cry. Not consciously, it's just something that I do... But fear of fear? That's just... I don't even know. It's true.

In the last book I read, the main character was quite insightful. She said things that made me go; "See, someone else does think like you. Someone else thinks deeply, but oddly at the same time." and I began to feel this enormous connection to this character, this deep attachment to her. Needless to say, when the character died at the end of the novel, I almost died inside.

But this character talked about "Ifspeak", which is kind of like the language that we all speak as children. The one that made teachers have the no "What if" rule at my school. What if that can of soda suddenly turned into a talking garbage can? What if it bit your head, but was poisonous? What if the only antidote for that poison was at the top of a mountain covered by metal spatulas? What if the spatulas disappeared at the sight of a rainbow? What if?

Maybe we'll all have the answers. Maybe we'll all get to figure it out. I feel like I aged fifty years in this one day. Maybe it's all just a sign of growing up, becoming more responsible. I know that just thinking about college and buying a car and getting a job gives me this enormous knot in my stomach, one that tightens as each deadline for a paper comes closer and closer. I think I'm too overwhelmed to be afraid of fear at the moment. I'm afraid of being afraid, I'll give you that, but I just don't have time to be afraid. Quite frankly, I don't have time to be angry at myself for being overwhelmed. It's not worth the energy. I'm all for saving the planet.

What if every time you got angry, you killed a tree? What if every person who admitted to being afraid would save a tree? Which side would you pick?

Ifspeak is probably one of the most powerful tools we have against the unknown. Use at your own protection/risk.