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I am afraid of the ocean. I’m afraid of its unpredictability, the way the waves never come in the same way, the way it changes so quickly with the tide and the wind. I’m afraid of its depth and its expanse, the way I can’t see down to its floor or see its end beyond the horizon. The ocean has moods that change with its color, and out of fear, I like to keep a respectable distance.
Still, I take the kids to the beach because we all appreciate its beauty from the safety of the shore. We build mounds of sand that are supposed to be sand castles or birthday cakes, and every once in a while, we walk near the water and let the waves kiss our feet. If we’re bold enough, we risk them splashing our knees as we hold hands tightly.
Ocean - Things - Life - Dad - Pressure
Along with the ocean, I’ve been afraid of many things for most of my life. I remember my dad calling me chicken when I couldn’t handle the pressure of jumping into the pool with him and my sister. I was and still am afraid of roller coasters, pain, failure, and success. I’m afraid of the possibility of any of those things as well as looking like a fool trying not to be afraid.
I hold the naive optimism of thinking I could do more than I really can, while actually believing I can do it. I once had skydiving on my bucket list because I loved the idea of flying freely, but imagining myself at the edge of an open airplane door is enough to make me want to hug the ground and never leave it again. I love the idea of me being brave. In reality, I freeze in the face of fear, or I puff myself...
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