Fear.

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Fear.
It's a strange thing, if you think about it. It doesn't actually ever take much to overcome it. We just tell ourselves that it does, that it's too hard, that we'll never be able to do it.
I sit here at the edge of the cliff, overlooking the endless chasm below. I can't even see what the bottom is.
A few minutes ago, the thought of whatever's down there would've had me shuddering.
But when I just told myself to stop being such a wimp and get my bottom to the uncomfortable rocky seat, I followed the orders without much of hesitation.
I smile. The first hurdle had been easier than I'd expected. Maybe that will be true for the second too.
My thoughts wander back to the mystery of what is right in front of me yet impossible to see. I wonder if anyone actually lives down there. The thought of life in a place like that is...interesting. Maybe I am more hippie than I'd thought.
Whatever it is, I know I can't fully anticipate the exact living conditions of the place. It's not like I'm planning to live down there, anyway.
No, my task is completely different.
I wonder if I should just slip off the edge, simple and quiet, gentle and no-nonsense.
But I think I want some drama.
I stand up and lean over the edge, dangerously. I'm not afraid. It's surprising. This is too easy.
Or maybe I am unconsciously drawing some parallel against the second obstacle. Certainly it's the bigger one. But the scarier one?
I don't know.
I walk backward slowly, step by step, building up a little bit of momentum.
Then I jerk forward, break into a run until I run out of ground.
My arms flail, as do my legs, but I don't scream. My breath has been knocked out of me by sheer weightlessness. The air around me speeds upwards - no, that's me speeding downwards - and I know a few moments of nothing. No thought, no fear, no sadness.
It's like a precedent of the freedom I am about to get.
It's liberating to know, as I see the rocky crevices of the mystery I'd tried to solve earlier, that I overcame the one thing I am supposed to be scared of.
I know that it is not the fear that I'm supposed to fight.
I know that I am weak.
I know that I am running away from my fears.
But I also know, right now, the lie that I'm telling myself.
I fought off my fear.
I am not a coward.
That thought makes me happy as the pain of a lifetime engulfs me, the lifetime I will not see.
The lifetime I feared.
The fear I didn't fight.
I am not a coward.
But, I am one.





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AmanAhuja said...
Dec. 6, 2010 at 5:39 am

I love it! :)

It reminds me of "The First Flight" !

 
DreamingOutLoud This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 9, 2010 at 11:36 am
Thanks! The First Flight...how?!
 
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