…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.
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?”
…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.
…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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