I am afraid. I mean afraid-afraid, not of the little things either. Afraid is such a broad term, because there’s so much that people think of when they hear the word: spiders, the dark, small spaces. No, I’m not afraid of those things, they’re minor. I mean the big things everyone pretends to be so brave over: love, dying, life.
For so long, I have spent my short twenty-something adult life pretending that I’m the bravest woman ever. I have pretended not to care, to be aloof because everyone strives to not give a shit about anything these days. As my new life as a college graduate begins, here’s my PSA to the world: I am afraid, scared to death in fact. And I don’t care who knows anymore because as I start to face everything that keeps me up at night, I’ll tell people about it all because I’m so sick of meeting people that hide behind their safe mask of pretend.
I’m afraid of failure, and I guess that comes with the territory of life really, that’s what it means to work your ass off, go after your life-long dreams and there still be room for potential for you to fall on your face. I never want to learn that my desire to help people and leave them better than I found them has been a joke, because it’s the only thing I’ve been able to see myself doing. I know, how cliché of me to be afraid of failure, but I’m admitting it.
I’m afraid of love. I’ve loved a few, and a few have also loved me that I haven’t been able to love back. And honestly, I still really can’t quite figure out which sucked more. All the times that I’ve tried to pretend I’m heartless really were useless because at the end of the day, I care too much about everyone. I’m afraid to make more memories that will collect on my brain and stick like dust I can’t wash off, only to keep me awake and quicken my heart at 2am. People scare me the most for this reason. Especially when it comes to second, third, and even fourth chances. I believe in them, but I hold my breath the entire way, not daring to breathe until I know that it’s worth it. Everyone is good at getting what they want, and not caring who they step on in the process, or who they lie to just to make them feel good for a second, not knowing that those little things add up to mean a lot. People treat people like they’re disposable, and like dying doesn’t exist, like there will always be that second chance guaranteed with a person. And then they show up at the funeral saying what a great person they were, how much they’ll be missed once they realize.
My fears are real, and they might seem silly, or irrelevant. But I know I’m one of the few people that cares enough to talk about any of it. I’m exhausted from acting. Constantly dancing around the stage lights, dressed in carelessness, only to rip it off like a bloody band aid later. I’m done pretending, because I think it hurts not only me, but everyone else in the process. So, I won’t pretend to be unafraid anymore. I choose to be cowardly brave.