Millennium Memoir
Moon and Stars . .

12.14.1999

Fear

Looking back, I remember a lot of fear. I control it better now, but still not well. There are so many things that I am afraid of. The fear gets in the way, inhibits my ability to act, to do the things that I love to do, to live life to its fullest extent.

At ten, I was afraid of the dark. The reflections of the street lights on the mirrored doors of the cabinets in my room looked like ghostly apparitions cast against the walls.

I leapt into bed every night from a distance of at least a foot so that monsters under the bed couldn't grab my ankles. I tucked the covers in tight, and layered the bed with stuffed animals, my stalwart protectors against all things that go bump in the night.

On the mantle of the non-functional marble fireplace, stood a small porcelain lamp in the shape of a ballgown reticule, painted pink to match the tiny shade. The light it cast was not bright, a soft glow that suffused the room with warmth even on the coldest of nights.

With my doll Crystal, and my bear Jenny, I could pretend that I was a princess, lying beneath the lacy folds of my canopy. From there we would fly away into a land of dreams, where we were the generous rulers of a peaceful land of rolling hills and simple, happy people.

During the day, I was afraid of many other things: of doing poorly at school, of being teased, of being left alone, of being run over by a car, or being scolded in class.

These fears seem so small by comparison with my adult fears. Most of my fears these days center around money and not having enough of it to take care of my youthful stupidities. I fear not being able to get out of debt. I fear tripping myself up, sabotaging myself and putting the goals that I long to attain that much more out of reach.

I sometimes have an unexplainable fear of flying -- as if I'd used up all my "safe" flights in all of the Atlantic crossings of my childhood.

Most of all though, I fear being unable to live up to my own expectations. Of somehow falling short. It's this more than anything else that keeps me up at night, fretting, planning, trying to smooth out the edges of panic and turn fear into determination to do better, do more, do it all.

Moonlit Trees . .

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