I was browsing a random vlog, a “20 questions about me” or something like that, and one question was about the thing she [the author] feared the most. I started thinking, what is what I fear the most?
I am not sure.
Probably not clowns nor zombies.
Maybe I could come up with a list:
- Not achieving goals
- Failing expectations at work
- Loosing people I hold dear, my family
Not necessarily in this order. Let’s see, I’ll assign some subjective scale ranking, where 1 is great fear, and 3 not so much.
I don’t like being alone. Well, let me elaborate. I like to exile myself sometimes, at least I’d like to do it more often. To contemplate the city, being rained upon, from the window of a high tower, with depressive gothic metal, candle lights, and some sweet wine. Or a less demanding variation of it, I could cope without the tower. But this is different than being alone in life. I can/could choose when to set myself apart, and comeback at will. For brief periods of time (one afternoon, one weekend?). But without family, friends? I fear that. And I have experienced it, at different degrees, perhaps the longest and more meaningful was when I lived in Deutschland for a couple of monate. I met people, and I still had my girlfriend, family and friends. But they were all far away, and despite the technology that “does bring us closer”, it’s not really the same. It felt extrangely empty, alone while surrounded by people, on my own despite the people left at home.
(I believe that also had to do with, or specially on the time when routines ended, school ended, job ended, and I had not an official excuse to go out and do something with people. I could and did travel, but again, I was alone for the most part, even though I couchsurfed everywhere I went and met -mostly- interesting people. Not the same.)
So I think one of my biggest fears is growing old alone, without anyone to hang out with, to share my stuff with, my writings, my goals, my life, everything.
I’m happy to know that I don’t believe my fate will be such, as I have both family and friends, but it is still one thing that gets under my skin.
Probable fear rank: 1.
Not achieving goals
Not sure if goals in general, bucket lists, personal or professional goals. Guess general. Probably not one of my biggest fears, or at least right now. And maybe it’s because I’m still at an age (36, at today’s date) where I think I will be able to achieve everything I want.
I do regret things I didn’t do, or experience. I know I can’t go back in time, and that regretting won’t change the past. Bruce Dickinson sings it up in the Iron Maiden classic:
So understand: don’t waste your time always searching for those wasted years…Iron Maiden
Yet, in order to avoid these regrets later on (and as korny and cliché it might be), I want to check all the boxes of my bucket lists. I fear waking up one day, having wasted all my life, all the shots, not having done everything I wished and dreamed for. Experiencing life in pay checks, job weeks, investing all my time at jobs for covering mortgages and debts, not able to travel the world, write my stories, and enjoying life with the people I love.
About that…, even though I have done a lot of cool stuff, traveled to very interesting places, met awesome people, I still feel like it’s nothing, like there’s still so much left to do, and to go to, and to live through. This whole thought is unsettling and encouraging (for doing more) at the same time.
Probable fear rank: 3 (for now).
Failing expectations at work
I fear failing expectations everywhere, but at work is a bit more terrifying to me, not sure why. Perhaps because bucket lists are more personal and private, and work is more public? Do I fear exhibiting my weaknesses and mistakes?
It’s not so much about the fact that failing expectations at work leads to being fired, which leads to not having money, which leads to not being able to pay for debts and food and such. That is also a terrifying thought, but I am certain that I will not allow myself or my family to starve. There’s just too much certainty that I won’t even include it on my list. But it’s also a part of that thought, because if I fail at job, get fired, and other possible employers get notice, it will create a vicious circle.
But beyond pay checks, wages and unemployment, I fear that I can’t achieve what’s expected for me to do. Perhaps a question of pride, honor? I think I can relate it more with those than with money.
Probablye fear rank: 2.
Loosing people I hold dear
My closest relatives, I don’t know how I would cope without them. I know life goes on, and (supposedly? :O ) all people will die, eventually. But two things worry me in particular: how (kidnapping, torture, accident, disease?) and when.
I remember a quote from “LOTR The Two Towers”, a grieving father states:
No father should have to bury his childrenKing Theoden
Maybe it’s related to the solitude fear, up above. It’s not just company for the company itself, but all that it includes: sharing, advising, comforting, both ways (give/receive).
Probable fear rank: 1.
Of course, what will happen after? Beyond gods and devils, is there a heaven? Scarier question: is there a hell?
Am I doing the “right” things to avoid hell? Will I be “entitled” to enter heaven? Will experiencing death be painful? Physically or mentally? Or both? What will my loved ones feel? Will I leave something for them, to sustain their way of life? Will I leave a legacy?
Perhaps more that the people left behind (I tend to think positively, that their needs will be met either by what I inherit them, and by their own means, at least in a “basic needs” sense), I fear what will become of me (what’s me? Myself? My soul? My spirit? My essence?).
If there’s a heaven (or equivalent) and I go there, will it overwhelm me? The concept of infinity, of eternity? Will it be boring? Will having no problems to solve (as the classic heaven is portrayed in western culture), no challenges to beat, no obstacles to overcome make me want to die (again)?
Probable fear rank: 2 (for now).
Oblivion: the state of being unaware or unconscious of what is the condition or state of being forgotten or unknownMerriam Webster dictionary
It’s different than death. At least, the way I understand oblivion or what I would like to express that has to do with it, is the void of nothingness. Maybe it’s not the exact meaning, I’ll elaborate.
It’s easier to explain with the outer space as an example (Gravity, anyone?), but could also be the woods (Blair Witch Project, anyone? It terrifies me to this date), a cave (the Descent, anyone?), the open ocean (Adrift, anyone?) or in an underwater vessel. It’s probable a combination of two of deepest fears of mine: loneliness and death. Left alone strayed in a place where no one can hear me, where no one knows where I am, where no one can help me, is probably the scariest thing of all (for me).
Even scarier if that is what’s beyond (an ethereal afterlife): when I die, and there’s no heaven, no hell, but only a vacuum in eternity, no one to talk to, helpless, lost, forgotten, all alone, forever…
Probable fear rank: 1 (top).