26. Fear: What scares you a little? What do you feel when scared? How do you react?
I have a lot of fears. What I’m not afraid of probably makes for a shorter list. But I recognize that some of these fears that I carry are on the irrational side. I’m sure you’re aware of this but there are two kinds of fear: rational and irrational. And sometimes these two worlds collide. For instance, in a million years I would have never thought that Donald Trump being elected to president would be legitimate fear, and yet here we are. What an insane time to be alive.
I’ve had a lot of tough moments in the past where I had good reason to be scared. I’ve nearly fallen off cliffs, have been stranded on an island, traveled Europe alone, and then I willingly jumped off a cliff once but that turned out to be fun. These days what I’m most afraid of is my email. That tiny little ping noise makes me freeze. I’m forever anxious about what lies in there waiting for me.
I know this seems like an irrational fear but I assure you it connects to a very real human emotion. I’ve been applying to jobs aggressively for the last five months or so and I still remain unemployed. I feel lucky to even have my unpaid internship at this point. Its been weeks of sending out emails only to get replies of rejection, or worse to never get a reply at all. So now whenever I hear the ping it’s a remind of the disappointment that surely awaits me.
I’m terrified of hearing more rejection. I’m scared that I’ll never find a career for myself that I truly enjoy and find passion in. It’s the thought of living in my parents’ house forever that keeps me tossing and turning late at night. This is a very real fear. A fear that is warranted and one that I’m sure all of us possess at one time or another, that nagging feeling that we’ll be unable to get our shit in order. And when I hear that hideous ping or see a notification my breath catches for a second and all those fears come back to me.
I usually try to keep my poker face on and pretend. I’m typically a very good pretender. Sometimes I pretend so well that I forget I even have emails. Of course this is when the pretending stops and the shutting down starts. Because after some time the poker face is exhausting and you feel like you can’t move any further, or get any more bad emails. At some point you have to face the emails, which is what I’m trying to do.
I check them as soon as I get them and hope for the best. It’s not all bad news, most of it is just junk mail, but I’m waiting for the one. The one email that will confirm that I’m more than just my resume, or at least will give me the chance to talk about my resume. Right now the the mailbox is empty, but the morning brings a new day and the process starts all over.