One of the nice things about The Daily Post’s daily writing prompts is that if one prompt doesn’t pique your writing interests, you can hit the “Try Another Prompt” link and a new one will pop up for you. Which is how I came across this Daily Post prompt that was sent out a couple of years ago:
People are afraid of all kinds of things: spiders, the dark, or being enclosed in small spaces. Tell us about your greatest fear — rational or irrational.
Well, it’d be too easy to say I am afraid of death. I won’t venture too much into this dark subject, but probably everyone, in various levels, has a fear of, to say it somewhat lightly, meeting their Maker. I wonder if it’s that fear of the unknown that plays into that fear of death; along with not knowing what will happen to them or those they love that day, they may wonder not so much about how they will leave this mortal coil but when it may occur. Dick Van Dyke, in an interview he did a week ago with NPR, had a nice attitude about death, positing that it’s best to just be active and live in the present day, and not to dwell so much about the “terminal condition” everyone has (translated: We all gotta go sometime).
Another fear that would be too easy for me to admit is fear of failure. I dwell too much about getting things done just right and making sure I hit the right goals, for fear of possibly losing my job if I don’t. By extension, I fear that not having a job for whatever reason will lead to, again, that fear of the unknown: Will a new job I may be qualified for be available the next day, or will it never come at all? In personal matters, I sometimes feel too eager to please that someone new that may enter my life, which may lead to him or her never being a part of my life at all.
But if there’s one fear I actually don’t mind admitting, it’s that I have a fear of heights, and not so much being on the second floor and looking down, but being several hundred or several thousand feet up and looking down. I mentioned in a previous post that I once had a bad dream where I was pushed from a ledge and had a very steep drop. I sometimes wonder if the bad lingering memories I had from that dream has played any part in my fear of heights.
So if I’m in a tall building, or if I’m in a plane (which I haven’t been in years; I don’t have a fear of flying so much as just being uncomfortable cooped up in a plane), it helps that I try not to look outside the window and downward. Yes, the people I’d be looking down on would look no bigger than ants, but I’d prefer if they were the same size as I am.
But then, there’s the matter of seeing a photo or watching video of a skydiver jumping out of a plane. If there’s a feature on the news or a video on the internet of a skydiver or a group of skydivers jumping out of the plane (like, say, this one or this one, and especially this one), I will hyperventilate without fail. (Yikes! That’s quite a drop!) So if you’re in the same room as I and a skydiving video comes on, please pardon me if I leave the room while I catch my breath and my bearings. it’s proof positive that I hate heights. (Yes, I admit it.)