Fear

In between working and sleeping with my eyes open (if those aren’t the same thing by now), I’ve caught a glimpse of a blog topic by Ileandra: write about your greatest fear.

This is a pretty interesting thing to think about, because what we fear changes with time. When I was a kid, I was scared of the stray German Shepherd who decided to make our building doorway her home. That dog did not like people very much, even though she responded to commands, and the only memory I have of her was when she was trying to bite my arm when I was maybe 4. I’ve grown out of that fear, largely because I’ve met all sorts of dogs who did not act the way that she had.

Later on, especially after my blood family had decided to pack bags and leave to NYC, I’ve developed a fear of having my home yanked out from under me; a natural consequence of a major move. It’s also something that I had grown out of in time, although I am pretty hard-pressed to leave NYC unless I absolutely have to, apart from traveling. Traveling is something that I love passionately.

But now, especially now that I’ve had an established job for a while, and after I’ve jumped over the hurdle of book-writing and book-publishing, I have to delve a little deeper to find what my fear is now, because I’ve either grown out of or dealt with my previous fears. I’m an animal lover, including temperamental German Shepherds, and have handled a boa constrictor (yes, I’m serious; my friend’s red-tailed boas are quite beautiful). I’ve survived a major move and hadn’t had my home uprooted since, excepting the times I had to move of my own choice. I’ve gotten on a plane by myself. I’ve driven by myself. I’ve tried unfamiliar foods, and rather liked them. I’ve done a great many things alone. All of those were things that I was scared of on some level, but all of them feasible once I had actually stepped forward and done them.

However, the one thing that stands out as something I’m genuinely scared of has to be losing the sense of who I am. My greatest fear is to not be able to be myself, especially considering my accomplishments in the past five years.

I have my own business despite the day job, I’ve published three books, self-publishing before it had caught on in the public eye, and I have been teaching myself photography very steadily. I traveled, often at risk to myself. Most importantly, I’ve done it despite people telling me that it couldn’t be done, and the biggest reason I kept at doing all these things was because of a dogged, stubborn determination to prove everyone around me wrong.

In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m stubborn. Few people can deal with that little personality trait of mine. I have locked horns with one of my clients on an edit – and ended up overriding him not just because the edit was the proper thing to do, but in equal parts because he knew very well that I was not going to give up until he had done as I said. I’ve locked horns with several people in the course of my writing, and crucially, I have gone out of my way to lock horns with people who said the little words of, “It isn’t possible and can’t be done.”

Oh yeah? Watch me.

That’s my motto, and that is one of my defining traits. My greatest fear is that I will lose the bits that make me, well…me. The stubbornness, the artistic inclinations, the almost nonstop writing itch, the Photo Eye, and the computer nerdiness. I can’t lose any of that, because for quite a good, long time, I have been trying to get comfortable in the skin that all of these things comprise. After getting to the point where I did get comfortable in my creative skin, the last thing I ever want is to be shoehorned into anything other than who I am.

Besides, I got more books to write. The Index Series is plotted out through Book 14, at least. Can’t do it if I’m not me. :)

K.G.