I’m afraid of oncoming trains and that feeling
right before a train approaches and the wind is all around you,
when you have no choice but to submit to the surge.
I’m afraid of death, but not like normal death.
I died in a dream and floated above myself
as an amorphous gas. It was strange and terrifying.
I’m afraid of heights, when you are forced
to see just how big everything is around you
and how little it all has to do with you.
I’m afraid that I can only give love to people
I know will hurt me. If the right kind of love
came into my life, I wonder if I’d be able to accept it.
I’m afraid that if I told someone that I love them,
they would think it was stupid — like the Valentines’ card
that just gets thrown away. I don’t want to be thrown away.
I’m afraid I wasn’t good enough for him, and that’s why
he didn’t love me anymore. Years of him telling me
that wasn’t the case haven’t put to rest this nagging idea.
I’m afraid of owning things, other than clothes.
The things you let into your life break or break you.
I’m still learning how to live with the things that are broken.
I’m afraid I attach too much self-worth to what other people
think of me. I hate that I always expect him not to call
and am surprised when he does.
I’m afraid I only see the worst in people
or that I expect too much out of them.
This is a metaphor for expecting too much of myself.
I’m afraid that my father and I will never get to a point
where being around him doesn’t make me want to cry
both for no reason and for every reason.
I’m afraid I can’t stop secretly wanting his approval,
no matter how much he hurts me.
I’m afraid this is a cliché.
I’m afraid that everything inside of me is unoriginal,
not worthy of saying out loud. Sometimes I don’t open my mouth
because I’m worried about what will come out if I do.
I’m afraid that I spend so much time trying to do
something that I’ll feel proud of when I’m older
that I forget to be happy right now, in the moment.
I’m afraid that my worry’s not worthy of sharing,
so when people ask me how I am, I say “fine”.
I wouldn’t be able to tell them what’s wrong.
I’m afraid that when people read this they’ll think
I’m another whiny, spoiled, self-conscious twenty-something
that just needs to lighten up and relax.
I worry that I haven’t even earned the right to be anxious,
because what do I even know about suffering?
This makes me want to cry, but I don’t remember how.
I’m afraid you didn’t read this or finish it,
or that it got lost in the shuffle of the billions of things
and that I gave away a part of myself for nothing.
I’m also afraid that you’ll know exactly how I feel, too,
because you feel these same things every day.
I’m afraid that I’m not alone.
(From 25 things I’m afraid of. Submitted by Angi Holden)