“The Fear” is something I initially heard on a television show, I think it was Friends, that might have been Oonagi… Anyways, it’s not originally mine and I adapted on it to fit my life. The definition of The Fear is generally a negative thought strong enough to encourage you to make good decisions and/or do great things with your time. For example, The Fear probably took the form of your mother when you were younger. Instead of tossing over a desk out of frustration in school, you folded your arms and pouted because you knew that action would cause a good punishment (a whooping when I was growing up) once the teacher called home; so you behaved.
When I was in high school, I met my second fear because my mama was always the first. I was on the bus going to school on a late start day, and I was sitting on the back row of the bus in one corner, with my school bag, a gym bag, and some combat looking boots tied to the outside. In the bag was a my Step Team uniform and the boots were what we generally practiced in after school. I had a performance after school so I needed all of these things will me and they caught the attention of an older man who sat down on the other side of the back row on the bus. I had my ear buds in my ear, playing music and used my eyes to people watch. The man tapped my bag and asked what the boots were for and if I was in the military. I explained the reason why I had the boots. After inquiring further, I ended up telling him I was a Junior in high school, the Head Captain of my school’s Step Team, and had ambitions of going to college to study both psychology and dance so I could combine the two and help teenager’s with behavioral issues through dance… some how.
The man thought my aspirations were noteworthy, and preceded to talk about all of things he was interested in when he was Junior in high school. He was playing football and basketball really well, as well as doing great academically, so it was expected that he go to college and play sports there. Somewhere in between then and now, he let his dreams and aspirations take the back burner.
So, he got a job right out of high school, it paid well. He played ball with his friends on the weekends or after work, so that sustained him for a while. Then he got a girlfriend, and soon got her pregnant. They married and are together still after many decades. But, once his first child was born, he stopped playing ball all together, and got two jobs to take care of his family. More babies were born, and more money was needed to sustain his family. Now that they are out of the house and completely independent he has time to dream again, he said. But I could see his fire for whatever he has dreams of doing whatever it is he wants to do cannot burn as brightly because it is now smothered by obligations and expectations as a father, husband, and now grand-father.
I had to get off at that point in the story, but when I left the bus I felt as if i just stared fifty years down a possible path in my that I could take if I do something as simple as let the light that illuminates my dreams and aspirations slowly burn out.
The scary thing about it slowly burning out instead of quickly being put out is that my eyes could adjust to the darkness in time for it to go out, and I may not know that I’m sitting in the dark with no fiery passion as a light.
So, my Fear is being in that man’s shoes one day, and speaking to another younger man who is obviously full of passion and huge dreams to only remember the dreams I let die, and am too old or have too many obligations to fulfill like I could have when I was 17, 21, 25, or even 37.
The Fear is healthy. It’s not meant to cripple you, it’s there to remind you and give your the push in the right direction when you begin to veer off the road. And many people may not know it, but they have The Fear already. Just a little 5 Hour Energy shot of Fear I guess 😉
But, too be honest… I’m not afraid of much >=]