“Courage isn’t just a matter of not being frightened, you know. It’s being afraid and doing what you have to do anyway,” Third Doctor, Planet of the Daleks
I’m scared of most things.
People (Yay Social Anxiety). Death (Inevitable). Animal products in seemingly vegan products (Happens way more often than you might think.) I’m afraid of a lot of things in this world.
But arguably what I fear the most is uncertainty.
There is nothing that fills me with overwhelming anxiety and fear more than having absolutely no idea what the outcome of any situation or aspect of life might be, the potential bad outcome of any given outcome. I wake up every morning not knowing whether any inch of anything that happens throughout the day can turn out bad or good. Everything I do or encounter during my day brings with it the uncertainty.I can’t predict the future of any given situation, so I overcompensate by not even trying to step forward in my choice.
Take my not-driving into work.
Fear kept me from getting in my car to potentially fish tail my way to my job when a travel ban was prematurely lifted the day after Stella wreaked havoc on most of the northeastern US. I had to ask my parents for a ride into work, knowing full well I could have just used a sick/vacation day to wait until the roads improved. As I was driven to my place of employment, the roads were as bad as to be expected after over two feet of snow has fallen. Actually, the roads were worse than expected.
Seriously the roads WERE NOT PLOWED IN THE LEAST! They knew about this storm for days and were NOT prepared for it.
Rant aside, I didn’t drive myself to work the day after the storm or the day after that because I feared the roads would cause my car to crash into snow, get stuck in snow, or get into an accident with another car. Logic told me, due to the conditions , the roads would be likely be horrific, and they absolutely were. The citywide travel ban just shouldn’t have been lifted. The roads weren’t even remotely drivable.
But I didn’t know that for certain. Logic could only lead me so far before I started to make my choices based on fearful instinct. I let my fear of the potential keep me from even attempting to try and drive. I barely even looked outside before making the decision that my little Ford Focus couldn’t dare make it an inch on the winter roads of Pennsylvania. Assuming the roads weren’t going to change after a day, I opted for a parental escort again for work today.
I was scared, so I didn’t even try.
It can be argued that fear was instilled in humanity to keep us from risky, harmful behavior, and that does work. However, fear can keep us form even trying to move at all. We don’t even try if there is potential for things to be bad.
Referring to that Doctor Who quote at the beginning, we can be afraid, but we still have to try.
Tomorrow, I drive.