It’s crazy how some the simplest things are out of my comfort zone. Like putting gas in my car and eating lunch at the local high school. Some of the emotion is because I like to joke about my fear of big high schools. Sometimes I joke about certain fears so much they become much bigger than they ever were to begin with. I think that’s what happens with the majority of my fears, actually, with everyone’s fears.
For example, it is a pretty well-known fact among my friends that my two main fears are mold and Johnny Depp. It started out with the fact that I will not eat anything that has the remote possibility of being moldy. The whole “oh don’t worry Honey, we’ll just cut of the moldy part and the rest will be just fine” does not work on me. I am not eating anything that once had mold on it. And blue cheese is nasty. But that dislike morphed into yelps of terror anytime my family members hold out moldy food items to me.
And come on, Johnny Depp is just one creepy actor. But even that has become a much bigger level of creeped-out-ness than Johnny Depp really inspires. Plus that whole thing is weird, because I love Jim Carrey, who is a method actor just like Johnny Depp. Why do I love one and hate the other? Because my brain got hooked on the humor of being scared of Johnny Depp and blew it up to larger proportions.
So yesterday was kind of nerve-wracking for some reason. I finally accomplished the art of putting gasoline in my car. I didn’t spill gas all over my mint corduroys this time. And I walked in and out of the local 5A high school without using the buddy system. And I began calling around finding out which of my preferable jobs are hiring. And I have been working on asking questions.
I know, asking questions shouldn’t be hard, or scary. But it is for me. Let me explain.
A friend of mine used to mention this to me constantly. He noticed that I don’t just ASK. I don’t clarify, I don’t look for answers to some things. Maybe sometimes I don’t want to hear the answer. Or I want to avoid the possible awkwardness that might arise from my asking. Or I think I already know the answer so I just don’t bring it up.
I didn’t completely understand what he meant for a while. Until my dad brought up the very same thing.
My family had been skiing. The resort had this deal where you only pay $5 per person after a certain time. We payed the $5 fee for my little sister, who ended up sitting a bench near the lodge, with her skis off, while the rest of us went down the slopes. As we were loading our skis back into the car, my mom decided she was going to take my sister’s non-used pass back and see if they would give her the 5 bucks back. When my dad told me what she was doing my response was “They aren’t going to give her the money back. Besides, it’s only 5 dollars. It’s pointless to ask.” My dad turned around, looked at me and said,
“It’s worth a try. 5 bucks can still buy you a Subway sandwich, ya know. Emma, you need to learn to just ask. What have you got to lose? I struggle with asking for that sort of thing, too, and it has ended up hurting me. Life is so much better when you learn to get out of your comfort zone, take an extra moment, and ask for the things you want. Like I said, what have you got to lose?”
A few minutes later my mom came back with her $5.
I thought about what my dad said, and how it related to what my friend was trying to teach me. I need to ASK more.
And I need to get rid of my pointless little fears. No matter how small they seem, they are holding me back.
Get rid of fear.