I’m Afraid

Life is scary. There are a lot of ways to get hurt and killed out there, and we are more aware of that these days than ever before due to how quickly information can spread. Every day I look at my Twitter feed and see numerous headlines such as “Texas water resort closed, tested for ‘brain-eating amoeba’ after man’s death“, “Facebook just had its worse hack ever — and it could get worse“, and “Seven parked cars set on fire in Redmond” and my brain instantly goes “well, what would we do if that happened?”. Well, I don’t know, but maybe I should know.

My day is filled with dangers. I could slip in fall in the shower or just be straight up murdered in my sleep. Every day I drive 45 minutes to and from work, either on the freeway or the nerve-wracking Chuckanut Drive. It’s a wonderfully beautiful area

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From the Oyster Bar on Chuckanut Drive

right edge of the Puget Sound and surrounded by forests, but the road has a lot of twists and turns. The lanes are very small and the road follows a steep cliff, which makes passing large trucks very scary.

The best part is that my car is one of the deadliest to drive┬áthese days. To be fair, I’m looking to buy a new one soon but I really needed a new mattress. I know that doesn’t seem as important as a new car, but you should have slept on my old mattress.

Back to danger. So, I work at a school and that makes me nervous due to the school shootings that have occurred. I worry about keeping my students safe and what we would do if something were to happen. I have a plan, but I worry anyway.

If I go out, I could be drugged (that’s happened twice to me), I could get hit by a drunk driver, I could be raped or murdered for denying a man, or sold into the illegal sex trade.

When I’m in the theatre, I could fall from the ladder, lift, or catwalk, which range from 10 feet up to 60 feet up, depending on the location. I could start a fire and die

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From McIntyre Hall. This is one of the theatres I work in. See the catwalk above the house?

from that in various ways. I could be electrocuted. I could get hit by something coming in from the fly system. Also you can just be murdered anywhere, so just add that mentally from now on.

There are many, many diseases all over the world that could destroy my life and leave me in agony for my raining days. There are animals that can sting you, bite you, poison you, paralyze you, brutalize your body and/or murder you. I’m looking at you, Australia.

My greatest fear in the world is dying before my mother followed closely by getting in a violent car accident and burning alive. My phobias are spiders, bees, and clowns/mascots.

The thing is, I still drive to work every day to teach children. I still go 60 feet up onto the catwalk in the theatre and lean five feet out to gel a lamp. I still want to travel and eat new foods! There’s too much to do and see for me to say, but my bucket list is long. There’s a lot I’ve already done, too, like driving across country in 18-wheelers and performing in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

I live my life aware of the possible hazards and I think about what I would do in situations, but I don’t live my life as if it will happen every time I step out of the house. That’s no way to enjoy what the universe has to offer.

Go for a drive down Chuckanut if you’re ever in Bellingham, but pay attention to the road and wear your seatbelt. Have a belt-cutter and a way to break your window in case you crash into the water. If you’re prepared, you’ll be okay.

Case in point: Last winter my boyfriend and I were driving home from a party in Seattle. It was really, really snowy and he’s driving slower, but we came to a big hill on I-5 (just past the Starboard road exit if you’re familiar) and at the bottom, I felt the car start to slip. Dylan started to panic a little and I watched the trees and the lights of oncoming traffic as we spun towards the median. He was trying to correct

black car on roadway while raining during nighttime

and hit the break, so I very calmly said to take his foot off the break and keep his hands still. Eventually, we came to a stop facing traffic, though it was really far up the road. After a breath, we continued. This time, much slower. We passed other cars that night that had spun out. Some had gone into the trees, others into guard rails or just straight off the road. When we made it home, I almost cried.

My point here is that I was able to be calm because I was prepared. I wasn’t afraid, even as it was happening. I distinctly remember feeling a crisp, chilly weight in my stomach and feeling very even. I was the calm within the storm and we didn’t go off the road.

So, what I’m trying to say is to go out and live your life, just be prepared.

Okay, off to school. I’ll talk to you later, my Darling Devils.

HS!

LH