I’m Afraid

By | October 11, 2012

I’m afraid…

…to write anything, because everyone is watching what I say.

…that winter is coming and I am going to be even colder than last year.

…that my neighbor won’t fix my electrical wiring and my heater will burn out my electricity.

…to buy a heater, knowing what might happen.

…that I’m unprepared…for winter, for the upcoming all-volunteers’ conference, for relationship stuff, for life after Peace Corps.

…that someone might find out how afraid I am.

What would you do if you were not afraid? Isn’t that the great hypothetical question that we’re always getting asked? Then, when you answer the question, you are supposed to turn around and say, “Wow, I could do so much if I weren’t afraid! Holy cow, look at me! I’m not afraid anymore!” And everything is hunky dory.

Armenian and American Girls

I'm not afraid!

But after you decide you’re not afraid, you have to consider the consequences of your actions.

“What would happen if you were not afraid?”

Selim Gorge Armenia

What would you do if you were not afraid to walk down this mountain? Would you walk down it and suffer the consequences of severe blisters and leg pain? I did.

…If I wasn’t afraid, and I wrote whatever I wanted, I might offend someone again, and be asked to take down another blog entry. (Yes, this happened, and I’m afraid to talk about it.) What would that do to my self-confidence? It might be yet another two weeks before I post something! And then I would be even more afraid to write what I wanted. This would turn into a boring, lame blog, which I absolutely do not want. Better to stay slightly afraid, I think, and self-censor my writing, at least for now.

…If I wasn’t afraid of winter coming… well, that’s not going to stop winter from coming, and that’s not going to stop me from getting cold. This isn’t a fear I can easily throw away. The only thing I could do is E.T. (early terminate my service) to go somewhere warm, and I’m not ready to leave Armenia just to escape the winter.

Potato Harvest in Armenia

Being afraid of winter isn't stopping anyone from harvesting potatoes.

…My neighbor may or may not fix my wiring. A healthy dose of fear that he won’t should help motivate me to knock on his door and ask when he’s coming. Nag him to get on it. Without my fear, he probably wouldn’t come, because there would be no one to remind him of his promise to me.

…I’m going to buy a heater, fear or not. So at least the fear’s not stopping me!

…Am I afraid because I’m unprepared? Or am I scared because I’ve prepared all I can and I don’t think it’s enough? Or am I just afraid to deal with upcoming challenges in my life? I guess that’s it. I’m feeling vulnerable right now, unwilling to admit to myself that it’s time to take action.

If I were not afraid, I would tell everyone how I’m feeling. I would proclaim openly, on the Internet, how afraid I am that people will find out that am afraid.

…And now you know. I have been found out, and I was the one who outed me. What kind of person am I, to do that to someone? Ironically, it takes an unafraid person to do what I just did.

And what are the consequences? You tell me, now that you know.

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7 thoughts on “I’m Afraid

  1. MuMu

    Janik 🙂 I think you would be better off if you find another apartment to move in. Just spread the word at college and markets that you are looking for better one that suits you and keeps you cozy and luck could strike. Really the one you have now (from the look at the photos) is heart wrenching.
    As to fear, well you should know by now that you attract to yourself what you fear. Be optimistic, open hearted and life will respond to you with the same kind. Cheerio 🙂

    1. Ev Post author

      Another apartment sounds good in theory, but there really aren’t many in my price range that are any nicer than the one I am currently in. For the most part, I love my apartment; it has a great view, it’s nice and bright, and I’ve already made it my home. There are just a few things I need to do to make it a little more winter-proof, and I should be relatively warm here. Thanks for your concern and kind words.

  2. Leah

    Remember this…reality is often kinder than our minds would have us believe..(there’s no point in projecting…what if’s..this is YOUR blog and it isn’t written to please others, it’s written to please you! You own your thoughts and feelings-let others own theirs.
    Love you tons!!!! xoxoxo

    1. Ev Post author

      Yes, I’ve seen it, and was thinking about it as I wrote this post; it’s a wonderful talk.

  3. Judy

    I’m surprised to hear that you have a fear of anything! But good for sharing. It makes the rest of us feel like humans to know that those whom we admire are human too. Of course, you are ready for All Vol—-your wonderful book which will help so many people, your help with medical stuff, your computer savviness (is that a word???), etc. You’ve done so much in such a short life and you are such a good writer! Keep posting those honest thoughts for the rest of us to ponder. It will help you and us as well. Smile and know you are loved, even if you are afraid. We all have fears because we are human. At least you know what yours are and are dealing with them!!!

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