I have this memory from my childhood, of me fashioning a gun out of a handkerchief and playing make-believe shoot-out sessions at home. I would hide under the table and take out the bad guys, I would leap onto the sofa (a dirty and deep ravine) and rescue a child or woman in distress, I would face the incoming bullets, when the victim was cornered just so I could save him.

That is the only memory I have of being fearless. As I grew up, there were multiple fears that made their way into my conscience. Some stayed longer than others and some never left, to this day, they continue to flourish and like a cancer plague every bit of sunshine in me.

Life presented beautiful opportunities to me, but my fear of failure and an even bigger fear of success made me run in the opposite direction. It wasn’t until recently that I realized I was in fact, an afraid person, generally. I was in conversation with a friend who praised me for going off on a solo trip. They went on to say such amazing things that I started to feel guilty. Sure, I did go solo. And I did get some good pictures and it was one hell of an experience. But little does anyone know, I was probably afraid all through. Of course, over the course of last 2 years, what with my anxiety etc., this fear has gone on and crippled me. But up until this conversation, I wasn’t accepting of this fear. I went on beating my chest about how brave I was, how I don’t care about the scenarios, about people so on and so forth, but the fear is there. It’s almost an entity that resides in me. And the dark insides of our bodies are nurturing this entity, allowing it to not only take form and shape, but letting it grow bigger than the hope one has fostered their whole life.

I’m probably the meekest person I know. I’m afraid of snakes, thundering, confrontation, grief, loneliness, failure, love, and even the idea of my dreams coming true. I’m so afraid, it’s a wonder how I’ve come to live my life for so long. Well, to be true, the answer to that also scares me. I’m afraid to admit that I’m afraid. At least, I was, till I wrote this down. You must wonder, why?

So, here’s my theory. You know how sometimes you feel you’re not alone in the room? The hair on the back of your neck stands up? You almost feel the eyes of someone on you? At times like this, people usually start playing music, turn on the TV, sing loudly, anything to distract their mind. Because admitting it, is giving credence to this invisible but very evident feeling/entity. We do that, because we’re afraid of the unknown. In my case, I know there is this fear, and not accepting it, is like going on living my life knowing there is this darkness that could engulf me any moment but running away and trying to stay in the light. So, this is me, saying yes, I’m afraid. I have fears, some irrational and some so very reasonable. But I’m no longer afraid to accept it, I’m no longer ‘claiming’ to be brave… I am trying to be. What about you?

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