When did I get so scared? Of every f-thing?
I mean, I’ve always been exceptionally fear-based, but they were always abstract and interesting fears like (1) the fear I will die alone with bad hair in a van down by the river, or (2) fear that I’ll end up in purgatory and then God will lose my file like the DMV did when I was 20, so I’ll be stuck in the greatest Limbo of all, while all of you will be in Heaven eating my frozen yogurt and listening to alt-country mix tapes on a restored old juke box.
Now, my fears are pedestrian. Base. Boring.
It was all highlighted for me last week when I started my new job which requires me to commute to downtown Chicago two days a week. I was scared of falling on the ice and snapping my hip. Then, when I was on the train, I was afraid of a disaffected youth sitting across from me, but I relaxed when I saw he was reading Harry Potter. (If you can’t feel safe with a Harry Potter fan you need more medication.)
Once I got settled in my office, I worried about where I would hide if there is a shooter. Then, I tested the lower drawer of my filing cabinet and decided I could fit in there. But, then I worried about how someone would find me if I accidentally got stuck in there. (I’ve read Sarah’s Key, so I had to think this through.) That night I gave Jeff explicit instructions about where to look for me (lower drawer, filing cabinet) if there’s a shooter and I go missing. I(If you don’t hear from me here for a while, remind Jeff about my hiding place.)
I guess it didn’t help that 30 minutes of my 1-hour orientation revolved around bomb procedures and where I should go if the building is evacuated. My emergency protocol binder is bigger than a phone book. The upshot is that it’s the same cheery yellow as those “Blah Blah for Dummies” books. (I may be scared, but I can find slivers of hope, people.)
Every time someone knocked on my door I was afraid they were going to come in and hurt me (or give me work). The poor office services lady who brought me a trashcan is probably still wondering why I screamed when she tried to talk to me as I was walking out of the bathroom.
This whole “life is fragile” thing is such a bummer. Commuting and communing with the masses bring up so much more fear than playdates and long afternoons with nothing but LEGO and Lincoln Logs to keep the ennui at bay. The worst part of returning to work, besides leaving my
blog children is confronting these fears. I am sure it’s the anxiety of the new job, but I just hope it dies down soon, because the work is piling up and I don’t have lots of spare energy for all this fear. And I sort of need that bottom filing draw for all my snacks.
How do you manage fear? Does your fear spike during times of transition? Did you ever fear that you would get stuck in God’s customs office and never make it to Heaven?