What emotion is in the driver seat?

Well yea that featured image blew the suspense but who are we kidding? Hello my name is Stephanie and I have lived life thus far driven by6206c0894633a7ace84739e9f5ebdfa4Ahhhhh! I have been a walking chicken shit. A scaredy cat.  A yellow-bellied fool that coward more times than she can count. Granted some of it was legit fear, but in all honesty a lot of it is a bunch of malarkey. Exploring this unwanted backseat driver will be the focus of my first personal essay. It will  be the first of fifty-two to be exact. That is one for each week of the year… YAY I can still do math!  At the beginning of the year, five whole long days ago, I was looking for a challenge to complete as I blogged. I came across this challenge from Vanessa Martir’s Blog. Head on over and check it out should you decide to jump on the bandwagon.

  • This isn’t about producing a polished essay. This is about surrendering to process. This is for you, no one else
  • There is no word limit. It can be as short or as long as you like. Just try to dig into the stories. Why is this coming up? What is it you’re not saying? What is it you want to say? Why? Dig!


The above two bullet points were the lure but I have three other reasons for my participation. First and foremost I need to become a better memory digger. I seem to have so many gaps in my timeline. I feel a challenge like this might assist in recalling some of my distant past; specifically my childhood and teenage years. My only fear here is that how do I know I am remembering something correctly? How do I know that my brain didn’t alter the memory in someway or completely fabricated it? I am confident in those memories that I can recall with ease. They all really happened. It is the ones that I will go fishing for that I worry about. Should I even fish? Maybe I forgot them for a reason? Always with the questioning of myself which of course is backed by that fear emotion. This leads into my second reason for taking this challenge. Reacquaint myself with myself. Learn to trust in my thoughts and decipher the rational from the irrational. Learn to embrace the memories. Finally, I have this hysterical idea that I am going to write my life memoirs in hopes that it might help some one someday that decides to read it. By writing personal essays it can possible become the outline of something bigger and better. Plus, publishing a book would be an awesome ass kicker of fear!

This essay may or may not be as comprehensive as I want it to be but if anything it will be great starting point in further posts of self-analysis. What makes me tick? Why do I allow myself to permit fear to live where it need not be? Do people just “get over it” or simply learn to live it with? Is living with fear living? What can I do to improve upon myself so that I’m not afraid of the irrational thoughts? The best place to start is to create a list of things or situations that scare me and then dig for the details.

I believe there are minimally two types of fear. Good fear, the kind that is an expected reaction to dangerous situations (hey maybe you shouldn’t be standing over me holding that knife), and bad fear which is the furthest from danger and usually nonsensical (If I go on a diet I will starve!). I’m somewhere is the realm of a third type of fear that happens when fear 1 and fear 2 mate and have a baby. That’s me. Baby gray fear. It is a pesky little thing. Doesn’t always take you where you want to go.

Here is a fun list of fears that I can easily recall right now off the tippy top of my head.

Fear of losing someone
Fear of being alone
Fear of going places alone
Fear of the subway
Fear of large crowds
Fear of small spaces
Fear of people judging me
Fear of crying
Fear of guns
Fear of knives
Fear of fires
Fear of being late
Fear of the dark
Fear of bad weather
Fear of a food shortage
Fear of not having money
Fear of being forgotten
Fear of being excluded
Fear of missing out
Fear of not being heard
Fear of hurting others
Fear of voicing my opinion
Fear of not being smart enough
Fear of confrontation
Fear of war
Fear of nuclear weapons
Fear of losing my civil liberties
Fear of Trump
Fear of illness
Fear of forgetting
Fear of getting lost
Fear of death

That is a pretty long list and very broad in subject and some of these can probably be mushed together into a single fear ball. My thing is those I have an actual memory of something that relates to anyone of these listed fears. I read somewhere that the only way to get over a fear is to go through it and that is even more reason to conduct a self-analysis through writing. In addition, my therapist suggests that I need to question myself when I have overwhelming amounts of fear. For instance, why am I afraid? Can I pinpoint where it is coming from? Is it rational? When did it start? Why did it start? Once I can do that she says that I can just push the irrational thoughts from my head. Problem is sometimes I don’t even know why I am afraid. I can be watching TV and have this feeling of impending doom for no reason at all. I am sure most of the “impending doom” feelings I get relate to my past abuse. I am also easy to cry but when I am done I feel so much better. Bottom line is that pushing fear out is harder than it seems. At least to me. Or maybe that is another fear to add to my laundry list. Fear of not being afraid.


4 thoughts on “What emotion is in the driver seat?

  1. Great first essay Stephanie! I can’t wait to see what else you write about this year! I love this idea of doing personal essays too. Too bad I have already started my new blogging challenge for the year haha. I have been seeing so many great writing ideas!

    Liked by 1 person

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