It makes me feel safe; I could stab someone if I need to. I’m actually a nice person though! I just feel safer if I can protect myself. On the other hand, fear is sometimes an awesome feeling. I'm pretty sure humans are probably one of the only species to enjoy the feeling of fear. If you think about it, we've created so many things, like Ouija Boards, haunted houses, horror movies, even Halloween to incite fear.
Fear can either be good or bad. Rational fears will protect you most of the time, whereas irrational fears might hurt you. I’ve had a couple of experiences with both. Fear once helped me establish a new level of trust with one of my closest friends.
My friend, Teresa, and I walked up to the house covered with eerie decorations. “Trick or treat!” we said excitedly.
The family greeted us with candy, then we left. We repeated the process down the row of houses.
“Trick or treat!” we requested at each house.
Before the next house, Teresa stopped. “We’ve already been there,” she said.
“Uh. No, we haven’t,” I replied.
“Yeah, we came from that way.”
“No, we came from that way.” I pointed in the opposite direction. “Well, this isn’t good . . . ” I usually plan ahead, knowing my moves before I make them, but I wasn’t prepared for this.
“You got us lost?”
“No, you’re the one that confused me!”
“It’s your neighborhood!”
“Okay, I have an argument that I am too tired to present right now, so let’s just walk around. M’kay?”
“That’ll get us more lost!”
“Do you have a better plan?”
“We’re doing it.”
“Mm, fine! We’ll do it.”
I turned on a small finger flashlight that barely changed the situation. Teresa did the same.
We roamed the streets, searching for something familiar. Nothing matched images from my memory. I wasn’t the type to explore our neighborhood much.
It was getting dark. “Can I ask you something?” I questioned.
“Are you scared?”
A nod was her reply.
I nodded as well. “You’re not alone in that.” I had never really seen Teresa scared before. That was just something that didn’t happen. She’s usually a very closed off person. The fact that she was willing to let me see her fear would have brought a smile to my face, if I wasn’t so scared, too.
We roamed around for a while. It was cold and dark. We found a small path. It was our best bet so we followed it. “I think this leads to the park.”
“I hope so.”
After we walked for a while, we finally made it to the park. My hopes instantaneously rose. I felt safer.
Now, you might be thinking this story doesn’t seem that bad, but think of it this way; it’s dark and cold, you are badly prepared. The only lights you have are a few glow sticks and two colored finger flashlights. It’s the holiday of razor blades in candy, when we celebrate phobias. PHOBIAS!!! You have no idea how to get home and the rest of the trick or treaters have dispersed. How would you feel?
Probably not awesome. You might say, “Oh, I’d have remembered my way around… I wouldn’t be scared.” In reality, you probably would be afraid! We may put our guards up and say we are strong and tough, but everyone gets scared. It’s not something to be ashamed of. It’s natural for us to not want others to see our fear. In nature, if a predator sees something that looks scared it will most likely go after it. We don’t want to be targeted.
Knowing this, when Teresa opened up and told me honestly that she was afraid, it made our bond even stronger. The fact that we are willing to let our guards down at least a little bit is a really nice feeling.
Fear, within a single person, has the power to break us, but when our fear is shared with an ally, that is when we gain the power to overcome it.
Katie is a 13-year-old currently studying at St. Mary's Academy in Englewood, Colorado. She loves to write fiction, sing, and act and considers herself both a Broadway geek and a Marvel Comics nerd. When not in the classroom, Katie is most often found playing soccer or field hockey on the athletic fields or in a random hallway laughing with her friends.
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