I don’t fear much, or at least I don’t struggle with your typical fears; except for maybe heights. What I truly fear are things like dying of starvation as a result of my struggle with eating; things like amounting to nothing in life, never reaching the goals I have for myself, or simply settling for the expectations of others. I fear living a mundane life; missing out on adventure. I fear getting stuck in writer’s block because in essence writing is all I have (talent wise). All of these fears, though, are minor in comparison to my greatest fear: the fear of being alone.
For a while, I lived my life fearless, yet uncomfortable because I knew that although I may not suffer from outward fears there had to be something deeper that I was afraid of. I went to Florida for the first half of Spring Break and had a whole house and BMW to myself for about three days and two nights. I met up with friends consecutively, but for the most part I was alone. I decided to occupy my time one evening by driving around the city. I turned on my favorite playlist which the title of this post is influenced by and just drove. I know, waste of gas, but that’s besides the point. I went on drive like this to give myself free space to think. I needed to tap into my clouded mind and guarded heart to figure out what was causing me to feel so uncomfortable in my own skin.
The “minor” fears I listed before started coming to me as I brainstormed, but I knew there was something greater bothering me. I realized that all those minor fears came together to represent this grand fear of being alone. It was in my time alone that I realized my greatest fear. I was living my greatest fear and had been doing so since I first got my permit in high school. My habit of social isolation began around the end of my junior year of high school when I had opened my heart and ended up more broken than before. That summer and throughout my senior year I started taking the car during my free time to drive in efforts to figure out why I felt so uncomfortable in my own skin. This isolation led to my darkest times dealing with depression and for a while I stayed in that darkness.
Once I identified this fear, my next step was to figure out where it stemmed from and why. I flew home to Maryland later that week to see a therapist and she helped me figure it out. In a two hour session we came to this conclusion: I long for deep connections with the people I interact with, but I have a hard time opening up my heart to just anyone, if anyone. This is because the few times I have opened up, I have been left more broken and in defense walls have been built surrounding my heart. I have spent years rummaging around the nooks and cranny’s of my emotions and memories to find the keys, but have failed. A task that was already difficult for me now seems almost impossible. But I realize that if I do not learn to open up my heart, my greatest fear will be fulfilled. If I don’t open up to anyone, I’ll dodge being hurt but I’ll also miss out on being loved. So my next step is to tap into my memories and speak positivity into my past replacing the negative interactions that have built these walls. I’m hoping that I’ll learn to trust someone with the key to my heart again praying that they won’t leave me more broken.