Well, that was fun yesterday, talking about what scares us. You guys seem to be game for almost anything, as long as it doesn't involve squid. I think we can pretty much avoid squid here at A,SMoL, which isn't to say we'll never get into deep water. Ho ho ho.
Speaking of which. . .there were hints of this in the comments yesterday, but I'd like to take this a little further. Have you ever gotten over a deep fear? Was it just a matter of growing up? Or, have there been fears you consciously set out to conquer? Any fears you tried to beat, but didn't? Fears you think you ought to conquer, but just can't work up the nerve to do it yet? And have you ever done something just because it scared you?
I was a timid child when it came to going on any adventure scarier than reading Nancy Drew novels, so most of my getting-over-fear has been on purpose. I was scared of heights. So I climbed a construction ladder 80 feet to the top of a train station. Over time, I got scared of flying. So I took some flying lessons. I was frightened of skiing, so I skied. (No, that is NOT me in the photo.) I was scared to quit my day jobs and write fiction full time. So one day I called every client I had, and give them 30 days notice. I was terrified--scared to death--to talk to an agent for the first time. So I signed up to do it. (She accepted me, and we're still together.) If I hadn't done all of those and other things, I'd still be the timid little girl I used to be--and still am at the thought of ferris wheels, scuba diving, and ever getting married again!
I got over my growing fear of flying by taking flying lessons, but really, that's nuts, because there is no logical connection. Just because I flew a little two-seater a few times should have no bearing on the comfort I feel in the back of a 747, but it does. The illusion of control is a wonderful thing. Feelings of safety can be just as illusory as feelings of danger, but they're a damn sight more comfortable!
Personally, I think that stretching my fear boundaries is good for my writing, and probably healthy for my relationships, too. I haven't skiied for years, but sometimes I still use it mentally to prepare me for something that scares me--I picture myself whizzing smoothly down a mountain, zipping over moguls, and having a fabulous time.
There's fear. . .and there's liberation from fear. The Big Whew. I guess that's what mystery and suspense novels are about. Maybe most novels are, and maybe life is about that, too?
How do you deal with fear?
See you in the comments. . .unless you're too scared to go there. :)