A Non-Comprehensive List Of Fears That Keep Me Up At Night

Jason Tessier

One. If I’m being honest, I have this like, constant fear in the back of my mind that I’m being watched. Maybe this is me speaking to our obsession with public (lol) figures and social media in general, but it’s also because once I ran out onto my balcony half-naked and remembered I have neighbors so like. It’s also just about practicality and privacy.

Two. I loathe frogs. They’re unpredictable and I remember watching Kratt’s Creatures once and hearing about a poison dart frog that is so toxic that if you lick it you’ll die and that really stuck with me.

Three. I sometimes worry that my biggest accomplishment in life will be being the lead in a community theatre production of Peter Pan or being called “generous” by my fifth grade teacher.

Four. Once when I was picked the skin on my heels because I do it compulsively and mindlessly, I went too far and I couldn’t walk normally for a week. Now when I’m picking I internally think, “You’re going to fuck up your nerves,” all the time. But I can’t stop. So I have this completely unfounded belief that I’m doing permanent damage to my skin because of my anxiety. And that, well. That kind of sucks.

Five. I’m worried that if I don’t work all the time someone will take my job out from under me. Like they will swoop in, and All About Eve me on an unpredictable Saturday. And then what would I have besides a couple of computers and a superiority complex to show for myself?

Six. I hate driving. I hate being in cars. Every time we go over an overpass whether I’m behind the wheel or sitting shotgun I hold my breath. I’m convinced I will either die by unsolved murder or car accident, and no amount of deep breathing or meditation or rational can convince me otherwise.

Seven. I’m constantly worried about being exposed. That someone will show what I fraud I am. That all of my deepest secrets and the things that I keep to myself because they’re nobody else’s business will be plastered all over Twitter or in a group text and then people will just know the things I’ve so carefully kept under wraps. I never let strangers see me without makeup for this reason. I want to be able to dictate what people think of me. And the idea that I can’t? Heart stopping. And not in a good way.

Eight. I shudder to think of how much my apartment is going to charge me outside of my deposit when I finally suck it up and move.

Nine. I really worry about people I love dying, specifically unexpectedly. I live thousands of miles away from my parents and am really bad about calling them and I feel like a terrible daughter. And then I get in my head and think, what would I do if my dad died? What about my mom? When was the last time I talked to them? Do they know I love them? Do they feel abandoned by me? I quickly spiral. I’m having heart palpitations just writing that out.

Ten. Same goes for my dog dying. I remembered the other day that my family dog died when she was 10, and my dog is about to turn 7. I can’t imagine getting only 3 more years with my best friend. It breaks my heart.

Eleven. I don’t know exactly where it stems from, but I really get panicked by the idea of losing teeth. At least once a month I have a reoccurring nightmare where my teeth either fall out or start breaking apart and then fall out. I have no idea what it means but it shakes me to my core.

Twelve. I really really really am freaked out by the idea that all of this, all of the hard work, all of the chasing after a career and saying yes and responding diligently and working late and leaning in, is ultimately for nothing. That one day it won’t even matter. Because while that very well may be true, what does that mean about me today? Where does that leave me? What does that mean about the person who I am? And about the ambition that I have?

Thirteen. And the biggest fear of all? It’s that I’ll never have any of the answers and that all of that shit is going to happen whether I figure them out or not. TC mark

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