Being Brave isn’t the absence of fear. Being brave is having that fear but finding a way through it. -Bear Grylls
I don’t consider myself brave. I used to be brave. Especially when I was a kid, I was fearless. I rode horses, I jumped off bridges, I drove really fast, and I would go anywhere and do just about anything. Hmm, upon reflection perhaps stupid is a more accurate word. Anyhow, now I know that if I fall, it’s going to hurt…bad. I don’t drive as fast anymore because I have my bean and there are a lot of other people on the road who have their own beans. I would be devastated if I hurt someone. No, common sense now takes over, as does the reality that bones break relatively easily.
I also have a lot of fears I will admit to. One being, I am afraid of the dark. I have a night light and I leave lamps on all over the house. I am afraid of things that go bump in the night. I choose to not watch horror films because I obsess about them. However, I am a huge fan of The Walking Dead. Although now, I have to buy each season on DVD because AMC isn’t broadcast over an antenna…sigh. Sometimes The Bibbed Wonder, his moral compass and war with the satellite companies really inhibit my life. However, I digress. I don’t like to exercise and I particularly hate to run. I don’t run well. Eric, who is my biggest cheerleader and often the court jester does an unsightly impression of me running. He then gets very serious, pats me on the back, and tells me it’s okay, he didn’t marry me for my athleticism. It must be bad if he is following his jokes with kindness. However, there are situations that will force me to run and run as fast as I can.
In the daylight, I don’t mind the corn field by the chicken coop. It doesn’t bother me one bit. After dark, it becomes a rustling, swaying field of terror. My chickens, they don’t go to bed until 8:30 or so. In my opinion, they need to make their bedtime 7:00 when it is still light. Chickens are very inconsiderate creatures. However, every night one of us has to go to the chicken coop by the cornfield after dark. Mostly, my bibbed wearing buddy will take over this task for me. On the nights that he doesn’t, I turn on all the lights on the outside which do not flood over into the chicken coop area. No, they merely add an eerie illumination to the monster filled, rustling, swaying field of terror. In my fear filled mind, if I can make it to the pools of light, I am safe. I know it’s not rational but fear is not rational. I sing, loudly and off key…singing is not one of my talents. Usually, I am belting out I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts in a very bad British accent. “I’ve got a loverly bunch of coco-y-nuts! Deedle le dee! All of them standing in a row! In a row!” I shout, “Good night, ladies!” as I slam the little door shut and lock it. I look over my shoulder, I try to gauge the distance between the swaying field of nightmares and the safe pools of light and I run! I run as fast and as hard as my stubby, chubby legs will carry my fat a$$! Once I make it from the grass to the pavement, I feel like my survival is a very real possibility. It’s just a few more paces to the safe zone and pools of light. To date, nothing has been able to catch me. Although, I am pretty sure those monstrous, vile, soul sucking, legions try.
I used to try to be very nonchalant about my fear, my fear fighting routine, and my running for my life from the chicken coop of death. I would step into the house winded, on the verge of a heart attack, holding the stitch in my side and be like, “I’m fine, it’s fine, everything is fine. Was I running? Don’t be ridiculous! Can I please have a glass of water?” Now, I just own it. I have an irrational fear of the dark, of the corn field, and of a variety of monsters lurking in the corn field waiting to get me. Sometimes, The Bean waits for me on the porch. I’m not sure if she’s giving me comfort or just needs a good laugh. In the event that she does wait for me, she waits with a glass of water and tries not to giggle. When I finally make it safely to the porch, she always inquires what was in my head this time. Usually, it is just a one-word question, “Zombies?” My response is always honest and nonchalant. “Nope, not tonight, Children of the Corn.” She hands me my glass of water and offers to teach me to run the correct way. I give her a look that says, ‘Don’t push it, kid.” She always ends with, “You’ll have to tell me about that one before we go to bed.” I’m not going to fill her psyche with toe-headed, knife wielding, cult living children at bed time. My response is always, “When you’re 21 I’ll tell you.”
Perhaps, I am braver than I think. I face my fear on a weekly basis. I find a way through my fear with a funny song, a bad British accent, and by giving myself a cardiac episode. I’m going with brave, very brave indeed. Perhaps not medal worthy brave but those creatures of nightmare qualities haven’t caught me yet. Take that cornfield of swaying, rustling, death. Your camouflage of hell doesn’t scare me. Who am I kidding? I’m just happy I still have good control of my bowels.
As always dear reader, stay safe, stay smart, fight your fears however you need to and own it, and of course wash your hands. Perhaps, I new fear fighting soap should be offered?