Despite being 17 years old, I still have an apprehension of dangling my feet over the edge of the bed in darkness. The notion of hands with hairy knuckles grabbing my ankles and pulling me into a terrifying abyss always lingers in my thoughts. Although I don’t consciously consider this when my foot ventures beyond the mattress’s boundary, a chilling wave of fear rapidly courses up my spine, prompting me to swiftly retract my wandering limb for safety. This fear should have been abandoned long ago, but it has clung to me persistently for numerous years. It has become familiar and reassuring. Furthermore, at times I would rather confront imaginary monsters beneath my bed than face the challenges presented by reality.
As a child, I was extremely shy and lacked social skills and grace. My biggest desire was to be recognized as the outgoing and popular girl that I knew deep down I was, instead of being seen as the awkward nerdette by everyone. But with this desire came fear of being noticed because my shyness often led to social disasters. After a long and challenging journey, I now appreciate my uniqueness and individuality. However, I still wonder how far I can truly express myself without fearing rejection from others.
In my childhood, I frequently had a terrifying dream where the devil would chase me towards a raging river even though I couldn’t swim. Each time, Superman would swoop in just in time to rescue me. Now that I’m in my late teens, there is slight uneasiness about what awaits me in old age. While many elderly people live fulfilling lives, it concerns me that some may suffer from illness, poverty, or find themselves alone. It’s not the devil pursuing me anymore; it’s mortality. Fear never fully disappears when one remains alive and honest; the only option is to learn how to confront it.
Perhaps being human means constantly teetering on the edge with the devil close behind and unknown dangers lurking below. Maybe Superman will intervene just in time for me to safely step back from the edge. However, there is also a possibility that he won’t arrive on time.