“Harmless Bogeyman” is another thankfully quotable mission that asked Akohans to “Write about the greatest fear you have, and how you have learned to overcome it.” While I make myself out to be a tough guy in terms of what I can handle in comparison to others, I do have my fears. Sure, I can sit through pretty gruesome acts of violence and horror which would make others run in disgust, but I once wouldn’t walk around town for fear of certain people seeing me even if they didn’t come round that part of town. These days I jog about in overalls with a yellow shirt in the middle of a thunderstorm because I could give all kinds of crap what people think. Moving on.
Played on January 16, 2011, I spoke of a fear a lot of us can lay claim to through their early years: being afraid of the dark. Not necessarily just the dark, but what’s waiting for you in the dark of your bedroom while you try to rest. This is something that a lot of kids get over round middle school or so when puberty comes round to give them the adrenaline rush to feel they can take on anything, but for me? I don’t think I got over my fear of the “boogeyman” till sometime after high school. Yes, rather shameful I know, but if you watched Japanese horror films like me, you would be afraid too.
I used to have an overwhelming fear of the dark and what was within it while I slept. Every time I slept without the light, I kept imagining an ugly something or other creeping slowly, ever slowly towards my backside, waiting for me finally turn around to see it. Heck, perhaps not even bother with that, and go straight for the kill. I blame Ringu and The Grudge for such fears, and while I still appreciate the stories, they messed me up but good.
So what happened? I turned over in the bed and saw for myself, realized nothing was there, and went to bed. This was just a start of course, and I eventually realized to smother my fear with logic. If some big nasty was going to throttle me while I slept, me dreading about it wasn’t going to make it any better. So I except the death that may inevitably come, and move on.
Fear is irrational. It takes a steady head to work the logic in and squash such irrationality. And while my sleep still stinks for other reasons, at least I know for sure there’s nothing in the dark. Or if there is, there’s really nothing I can do about it. Just live, you know?
Emphasis on the irrationality here. I’ve known plenty of people who who literally live in fear over everything that could happen to them. Everything. Thirty minute arguments over how stressed they get over this one thing, only to have another thirty minutes be given for another. I’m all for taking precaution on procedures and doing the best you can to make sure you come out safe or that others are as well, but after that? You need to allow nature to run its course and accept that something will happen regardless of what you do ahead of time. Too often I see others ruin their lives with fear, and I have no time to for such things. Got a lot more things to be working with that are real and in front of me that some boogeyman that may or may not show.
I still have my moments, and I get greatly annoyed by them, and I obviously have my fear of insects and spiders like the vast majority of us do. Must be all those limbs and eyes they have, along with the speed at which they can move which freaks us humanoid bipeds out. Going to be a hell of a time to try and interact with our first alien species, that’s for certain. But fear is something to be conquered, because it’s an irrational reaction to something we don’t understand, making us create something more than what it really is. In other words, get yourself into horror and delve into what makes you afraid. Hopefully you end up better than the poor fellow in A Fantastic Fear of Everything…yikes.