When I was seventeen I remember one day I was having lunch with two of my best friends from high school and we had an interesting conversation.
We were talking about a lot of different things; like high school girls do. Then the conversation got a little more serious and we started talking about the things that scare us the most. Surprisingly, we had exactly the same fear. It was a fear I had carried around with me for as long as I could remember and a fear I feel most people have, but don’t talk about.
This deep, dark fear is something I still carry around with me and when I have to do something scary, like give a lecture to a room full of students, I try my hardest to bring it to the surface. Because I don’t fear anything like I fear this – definitely not giving a lecture. And so thinking about this fear makes me calm. How can I possibly be nervous about this – THAT is real fear. THAT is really scary. Get yourself together!
My greatest fear
My worst fear is a little hard to describe but I am sure that if you have it too, you’ll know what I’m talking about. It all begins and ends with the fact that we’re human and we’re mortal. One day, we’re going to die. It goes on with the fact that as humans we have a conscious mind. We use our senses to discover the world around us and our mind to make sense of it all. We’re born into this beautiful world knowing one day we’ll have to leave. We won’t live forever.
Ever since I can remember I have had an incredible love and lust for life. I have said this before: if there is such a thing, I must be a new soul because everything in life is both scary and amazing to me. In short: I love being alive and I can’t imagine that this life will ever end. There’s so much I want to do, see, people I want to meet, things I want to become. And my number one fear starts with knowing that one day it will all be over.
What my deepest fear looks like
But it’s not just my life that will end. I am a firm believer in the fact that my conscious mind, or spirit, won’t die when my body does. And this thought is exactly what’s so scary to me. Imagine that one day the earth will cease to exist – which is likely to happen with the way we’re treating it – and all human life (and all other life) will die. There will be absolutely nothing. And worse of all: my conscious mind will experience this nothingness. I can’t think of anything more terrifying; the thought almost paralyzes me with fear.
It’s kind of funny that on the one hand I want to live forever and I want my conscious mind to survive everything I physically endure, but on the other hand the idea of being ‘awake’ and conscious forever is so scary to me. Who knows what forever means anyway? There is no end to that and no way to comprehend what it means. And I guess most of life’s beauty lies in the fact that it will end. That’s why I run through life enjoying it as much as I do, because I know it will end one day.
My deepest fear won’t ruin my love for life
There’s no real reason I am blogging about this fear I have, other than I’m hoping someone will recognize this and know they’re not alone. The photo above this post was taken last week in San Diego where I couldn’t take two steps without hunching down and taking a photo of something – whether it was the sea, the birds or a tiny crab hiding behind a rock. I love life; it’s so incredibly beautiful and as much I fear it being over – I love living it much, much more.