An Ode to the Things I Am Scared Of

An ode to the things I am scared of
Photo by Taryn Elliott

I feel being scared is good. It makes me feel human and relieved over the fact that none of the new-age technologies has successfully managed to kill the entirety of my emotions and turn me into a robot.

Two of the sweet somethings that technology did rob me of, though, include:

  • that feeling of missing people – when we are connected 24×7, where’s the time to miss?
  • connection (ironically) – everyone around me, young and old, is so immersed in their phones that I find it hard to reach out to them or get their undivided attention. Meaningful conversations have dwindled. One line of dialogue is followed by a quick glance at the phone. Eventually, you are distracted by some meme, TikTok, or reel that takes the magic away from the present.

Currently, in my mid-30s, I feel less scared compared to my early formative years. This might be because of added experiences or because of the dullness that adulthood brings with it. You learn to grow an invisible shield that protects you from uncomfortable experiences. But in between all that, you lose some of your vulnerability, a part of your personality that was quick to embrace things without second-guessing them. It had a charm of its own.

So here’s an ode to the things I am scared of in my mid-30s, the things that make my heart race and the hair on the back of my head stand (well, that’s a stretch, but they do make my emotional wires wonky).

  • losing near and dear ones – the end is inevitable. It is something we cannot control. As I age, it is frightening to know we are that much closer to the end. How painful will it be? Can’t all deaths be peaceful? Questions no one can answer.
  • not being able to take care of myself – by seeing the seniors around me who are heavily reliant on their kids for the slightest of things, I worry if I will ever reach a stage where I won’t be able to take care of myself, be it physically, financially, or emotionally.
  • running out of time – I worry if I will ever be able to do all the things I want to in this limited lifespan. Will I find time to do it all? Will I be able to go on all my bucket list travels and explore the world? Will I have the health and abundance to provide for myself and my family’s needs?
  • working my life away – here, I am typing all this out in between work because what if I never get enough time to write, the one thing I love doing? Imagine spending more than half of your life at your workplace, not getting to do any of the stuff you want to do to your heart’s desire because you have a home to run, tummies to fill, and many obligations and responsibilities. You are expected to work till you can’t anymore. Unfortunately, most will only get time for leisure in their old age. And by that time, it might be too late to deep-dive into everything we used to enjoy before.

It is a coincidence that most of the things I noted here concern time. But what else is more precious? Without time, we cease to function. All we crave is more time – to spend with our loved ones, to do the things we love. Only time can correctly predict your destiny. You need to live through life to see what will happen and what you will feel. Till then, it’s all talk.

Sometimes you have to let go of these thoughts. Because there are no answers. But on other occasions, I hold these thoughts dear. When I get older, these fears will probably be replaced by new ones. Till then, these emotions will work to keep me human. They will keep me sane.

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