I don’t know why I haven’t really mentioned my true fear. My biggest, greatest, and most haunting fear ever. I talk so much about life, love, relationships and anything else in between. I guess I’ve always just been so caught up with what ever I may be going through. But I never mention this fear with anyone. It’s been my very most kept secret between me and literally my dog. I guess this true fear of mine really hit me hard when my girlfriend and I had a conversation kind of relating to it.
My biggest fear is dying. Seems pretty typical. No one wants to die. Life, as crappy as it can be at times, is the best thing ever. Maybe to a lot of people its just literally something that is of an annoyance. Maybe to some it’s the best thing ever. Me? I’m just so afraid of it cutting to a black screen so suddenly.
Ever since I was a kid (when I first experienced a death of a family member) I was always so afraid of it. My first time talking about it I was about eight. I was talking with my cousin after a funeral. I never really quite understood it. Of course, as a six year old, nothing like that topic bring great curiosity. Usually kids are so caught up in riding bikes or whatever we did in the 90’s (now I see kids with iPad’s and smartphones… What a shame…).
But I remember asking my cousin “what is death? What is dying?”
Now… before I go into greater detail of this discussion I had with him this is the quick back story. I was raised in a Seventh Day Adventist family. You can Google it if you want, but basically we were super religious. So my cousin gave me a very religious answer that ended up saying that’s something that we all end up doing. I didn’t want to die. Especially since I enjoyed Hot Wheels, N64, and sleep overs too much (I was eight! Give me a break). I didn’t want any of that to come to an end. He tried comforting me saying that when we all go to Heaven its something that will last for an eternity. I didn’t really believe it.
For many nights (and even to this day) I would wake up knowing that eventually everything would come to an end. I didn’t really understand it. I wanted to understand it. As I grew older I would try to get a better understanding of death. I would read books, articles, and watch documentaries about it (I wasn’t like… goth or anything… It was just really interesting to me).
I am the type of person that always wants to know something. If I don’t know it, it bugs me. I read articles about people’s near death experiences, out of body experiences, and people’s “scientific” research of the soul leaving the body. Ironic that I do/did a whole bunch of things that pretty much go against my, what people may call, irrational fear.
I’m deathly afraid of drowning, so I became a Marine. I’m deathly afraid of burning alive, so I decided to join a fire fighting unit. I’m deathly afraid of suddenly being killed, so I joined a law enforcement department. I’m deathly afraid of my life just being cut so short, so I smoked cigarettes.
Sometimes I wish my life was like a movie. I could just pick my favorite scene and replay it as much as I want. Never really losing any time just reliving those moments. Once the movie ends I can just hit rewind and do it all over again. It’s a such a simple complicated concept.
(This post gets so less depressing I swear)
So as I was talking to my girlfriend I talked about my pneumonia experience. I talked about the whole chaotic scene in a post months ago, but the quick story is that I literally almost died. I mean I was in the ICU as a 19 year old for a long time. My lungs just gave out and started to fill in with liquid. I was literally drowning on dry land. I kept coming in and out of consciousness and teams of doctors kept examining me. Ever wonder what its like to have a lot of years of experience looking at you and having them wonder what the heck is wrong with you? It doesn’t exactly give you that warm comfy feeling of “Oh yeah… It’s nothing…”
So when my doctor was about to discharge me he said that he took a look at my lungs. Severe scar tissue in my lungs he told me. He said my lungs were the equivalent of someone with emphysema. Oh… that was a relief (not). After that I got too afraid to check up on my lungs. I know I should go check with a medical professional about it but I just hate bad news. I can’t handle bad news. But I always have this bad habit of anticipating the worst situation.
Ironically I work in a hospital where death is all too much of a familiar thing. People of all ages come in and get treated. They all come in for their own reasons of course, but the unfortunate reality is that despite all of the best care, equipment, and experience there are just some things that medicine can’t cure. When you see someone who has passed away it’s like there isn’t anything left in them. It literally looks like something we loaned for a short period of time before we get sent off to somewhere else. Sometimes I think of the kids who face an exhausting battle fighting for their lives. Sometimes tomorrow can be scarier than yesterday. It’s crossing into the unknown. You don’t know what tomorrow will have but you already experienced yesterday.
(It’s going to get happier… eventually…)
I was driving home from my girlfriends house. I put on my favorite radio station. It was one of those semi-religious talk shows that plays music at peoples request. The host of the radio show takes phone calls of people who say a little short story about their situation and she gives them great hope and motivation to push on to the next day despite of what they’re afraid of. Funny how coincidental everything was because a girl called in the radio station. She wanted to dedicate a song to her god father. The host asked the caller a little bit about her god father. She said that her god father was in the hospital fighting several battles. She wanted to let him know that she loves him and hopes he can come home soon. The host asked what her god father was like. She said that her god father was always the happiest, most motivated, never mad, and most inspirational person she has ever had in her life. The host then said “Isn’t that the type of person we are all want to be blessed with knowing? Even if its his time to go he has left you with something. He left you with ever lasting memories of someone that cannot be imitated. He sounds like truly a one of a kind guy. I’m sure that when you two meet again he will give thanks to you for being who you are. Here’s the song you requested. Stay strong and know that more people are holding you in their thoughts more than ever now.”
Then the host played “Lean on me”.
So I sat in my car when I finally got to my apartment and listened to the song all the way through. After listening to the song I finally figured it all out. I don’t have to be afraid of death anymore. I asked myself “why was I even afraid of that?” then I laughed for a bit. Well… more of chuckled quietly to myself. I’m not that insane (debatable).
I have the greatest people in my life. I know that I have touched their hearts with so much joy. I may not know what is at the end of this crazy ride, but I know we are all in it together. It’s always better to be on a scary ride with someone than going at it alone. I have someone to live for. I have so many more smiles and happiness to give. Why waste all my time in worrying? What good will that do me? Not a thing. Not even close to anything. I want to live my life for myself and more importantly for my one true love. Who knows that tomorrow will bring, but its always more exciting to cross into that day with someone right by your side.
It’s like, for me, once you find your true love even your greatest fears just seem like the smallest problem. Everyone I was with never helped me eliminate my fears, but she helped me just destroy it. She helped me destroy a lot of my fears. Even now, sitting here at my desk typing this away as my fingers start to cramp from extreme typing, I think its kind of funny at the thought of what has been haunting me for years. Is this the true purpose of life? Coming into the world with fear and this uneasy feeling of the unknown and only to slowly eliminate all of them until you reach the highest peak of happiness? For me, its a big yes. To finally have someone who makes you smile so big that you blind yourself from your cheeks being so puffed up. Crying because you laugh not because you’re sad. Feeling like time is only just a weird theory because being together feels endless. Getting a bigger realization than knowing you could of had a V8.
Now that after a small conversation knocked out my biggest fear, whats next for me? I don’t know. She may not know. Maybe what god we all believe in doesn’t know.
It’s like a weird quote I remember seeing from somewhere. I think it was posted on those wall decorations you see in super markets for those sorority houses (at least I think its what their purpose was for).
Remember yesterday, live for today, and hope for tomorrow.
But enough of the rants and weird spontaneous feelings I get. I’m currently working on a couple of short stories. I don’t know if I will have them done by this week or not. I am doing them on a word document and reading them over to see if they are turning out the way I want them to. I think I will add another page just purely for short stories on top of doing this. I’m still working my way to poetry. I really think that what I come up in my head is good, but then it’s like writing with poop when I try it out. Maybe not that extreme, but you get the idea. It never turns out the way I want it to.