10 Days of Alx: 8 Fears

Update: If you got here by link or bookmark — Please update your information!  We’ve moved to our permanent address, and you can read this entry there, at: Trial and Error.

I’m actually kind of amazed with myself at how well I’ve been staying on top of the 10 Days thing! I mean, the past 3 ‘days’ have taken a week, but still – I haven’t just abandoned it and wandered off to something else, so that’s good.

This Monday morning finds me exhausted and too sleepy to focus, with a healthy dose of anxiety – which leads perfectly into the day’s theme: fears.

Eight fears, below the jump. Boo!


Like every insane, perfectionist, type-A law student, my number one biggest fear is failure. I’m not even sure I could tell you what I mean by ‘failure’ – since when you’re at this stage it’s totally relative. Plenty of people tell me that failure isn’t really possible, since it’s a success just that I am where I am… but I don’t think any self-respecting law student would believe that! The fear that keeps me up at night probably echoes a lot of my friends’: that I’ll never get a job, that the fact that I don’t have a job yet means I’m not good at anything, that I’m going to fail all my classes and everyone will laugh at me, that I’m lazy and useless, etc. And the fear of failure somehow doesn’t motivate me to do more class reading, it just is. There is a saying that ‘having failed is not the same thing as being a failure,’ but I’ve never failed anything and anyway I’m not sure I’d be able to tell the difference between the two. It doesn’t really matter whether any of the things I worry about are objectively true, what matters is the constant state of terror they put me in… I have decent grades, and yet every day I don’t read for class I am convinced that it’s that day that will be the last step towards failing out of school. Clearly that hasn’t been true yet, but the fear is still real. So yes, failure.


I hate them. I have been pathologically afraid of spiders for as long as I can remember. Big ones, small ones, even just spider webs – if I see one I freak out. I’ve been known to have paralyzing fear even just seeing a spider web, or worse, walking through one by accident. I’ve never had a bad experience with a spider or anything… no traumatic spider bites… but all it takes is thinking about a spider and I feel the panic creeping in. EEK


Psychology is so strange. When I was little, I used to love flying – we travelled a lot and I would get so excited every chance I got to get on a plane. And then one day, sometime in high school, I woke up and was terrified to fly. No explanation. No gradual onset. Just suddenly terrified of flying. I still do it, because I refuse to let some silly fear put a stop on my life, but I’m such a nervous air passenger now, and I can barely breathe until I’ve gotten off the plane and back into the airport.


And wasps. And anything that flies and stings or bites. I have a deadly allergic reaction to these things though, so I like to think of this one more as survival instinct than fear.



It stares at me while I’m sleeping.


Most people don’t like mold, that’s normal. I fear it… which I am pretty sure is abnormal. Have you ever seen a grown woman turn and run, screaming, at the sight of a carrot that’s gone off? No? Well then you haven’t known me that long, have you.


So terrified. I’m not even joking. The first time I saw a zombie movie, I nearly lost my fucking mind. The concept of zombies (or the zombocalypse) is terrifying on such a deep level that it’s hard to even articulate why. I mean, sure, they’re ugly, and yeah, no one wants to get their brain eaten, but it’s so much more than that. I think the zombie mythology is such a powerful allegory for so many human fears, which is why the same zombie movie (basically) keeps getting made over and over again and is still so effective. Don’t worry though – Liz and I, we have a zombocalypse emergency plan, so if you’d like to be included just let us know, and provide a list of useful skills and possible weaknesses. ‘Fear of zombies’ does not count as a weakness.


I’m not much of a conspiracy theorist… I don’t spend a lot of time reading subtext that isn’t there, and I don’t usually have a lot of patience for people who do. There’s virtue in taking things more or less as they are, and not letting your fears drive you crazy. That said, every once in a while I get the discouraging thought that maybe it’s a done deal already – the people who are going to be successful are pre-determined, and I’m not one of them. It’s less of a fear, I guess, than a discouraging thing I tell myself, but it is kind of scary to think there’s no chance of success. That I’m on the outside, destined to be second-rate no matter how hard I try or how much work I do. So it’s a fear, and it ties into fear #1 on this list, but really – this line of thinking is just a waste of time.


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