being vulnerable, transparent, gut-wrenchingly open

Fear is something that I’ve always seen as a weakness, and the last thing I want is to appear weak. But I think that an even greater weakness is the inability to be transparent; to show vulnerability and to be gut-wrenchingly open (also one of my weaknesses, but hey, I’m working on it).

So here it is, a big step towards transparency: I’m scared.

I’m scared that I won’t be successful one day, even though my past experience completely contradicts that notion.

I’m scared that I’m choosing the wrong major, that I won’t be able to find a job in the future and that the student loans I’ve taken out will never be paid off and that I’ll end up working in a factory or serving deep-fried fake chicken nuggets out a drive through window for the rest of my life (not a jab at fast-food or factory workers—you guys keep on doin’ what you’ve gotta do to pay the bills—but it’s not a job I personally desire).

I’m scared, often, to share how I feel, because I worry that my feelings won’t be reciprocated, or that some close-minded person will give me a long list of their ignorant reasons why I’m “wrong” to feel a certain way about something (and have you been on Facebook lately? This isn’t exactly an irrational thing to be worried about).

I’m scared to drop everything and just go travel the world, which is what I’d really like to spend my life doing. I’m terrified that I’d end up stranded somewhere in South America or something with no way to get home, surrounded by strangers who don’t understand me. I’m scared that if I were to follow this dream, that I’d be a real life version of Liam Neeson’s on-screen daughter in Taken… except that I wouldn’t have a badass ex-spy dad to save me.

I’m scared that I’m going to settle for what’s normal and socially acceptable and that I’m going to wake up fifty years from now with more regrets than I can count.

I’m scared that I’m never going to fall in love and that all the books and movies and people I’ve talked to are wrong—that there just isn’t that one special person out there for me.

I’m scared of driving over bridges and jumping into deep water because I have this horrible fear that I’m going to end up stuck under water with no way back out (and drowning really just seems like one of the worst ways to die).

I’m scared that I’ve missed out on great opportunities because I was too scared to accept them.

I’m scared that I’ve let people down and that I’m undoubtedly going to disappoint even more people in my lifetime.

I’m just scared.


What scares you?

5 responses to “being vulnerable, transparent, gut-wrenchingly open

  1. Well, Ashley, i think you took the first big step — talking about your fears. But you sound like a smart girl, which means that you will meticulously plan everything before you execute it. In turn, none of your fears will come true — statistically speaking.

    Keep facing those demons; they are all dying slowly, one by one.

    Stay in touch — big hugs from a stranger, and stay strong.



  2. This is GREAT! If it weren’t bedtime here I’d settle in for a good long read of more of your posts. We’re both going to enjoy these! Loving your writing style, content ( cookieeees) all of it!) I hope writing this one helped allay some fears? Or at least shine a light on your obvious courage. S


    • I actually wrote it months before I posted it online, at a time when I was on the verge of a stress-induced mental breakdown. It helped a lot, too. When I read back through what I’d written, I realized that the odds of those fears actually happening were pretty slim and I felt so much better. Writing is a pretty great form of therapy!
      Glad you enjoyed, and you HAVE to try that cookie recipe. I recently did half white chocolate chips, half milk chocolate… and they were the best things I’ve ever eaten.

      Liked by 1 person

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