AVERSION: Conundrum By Sharon Collins

Week 6 Word: AVERSION
Word Count 483
Conundrum
By Sharon Collins

“Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.” Emerson said that. I don’t know if it’s brilliant or bonkers, but his simple statement has been the motto of my adult life. Having embraced Ralph Waldo’s sage advice, I actively pursue my fears in an honest effort to kill them.
I fly regularly and not just little two hour flights, real flights, international flights, ones where they still serve food because they are so long. With practice, I’ve learned that my bladder’s limit is the span of the Atlantic, Boston to Toulouse. Anything longer and I have to fight the fear demon of unbuckling my seatbelt, which as everyone knows, is the only thing keeping the plane airborne.
I plant mums every autumn even though a spider big enough to have its bone density measured tried to take our relationship to the next level right there in the Mum Patch! I was not aware of his intentions until he tickled the nape of my neck. Sadly, that was a poor choice on his part. He’s dead now.
I eat tapioca; well I don’t eat the frog-egg-looking-jellied-stuff. Tapioca, Rice, Bread, these words should NOT share recipe-space with that Paragon of Dessert, PUDDING! I do however, eat foods, with Tapioca Starch listed as an ingredient. Gluten Free folks can’t avoid it. So I feel justified in owning the fear of Tapioca. However, someone recently told me that the Taiwanese have concocted something evil called Bubble Tea, a sweet, milky, fruity drink laced with giant, chewy balls of Tapioca. Oh, the horror of it!
I actually look at needles now. I’m a “passer-outer” when it comes to Novocain and blood work. So mastering the combo of a decent finger-stick and insulin shot, was nearly my Rubicon. But we do what we must. So I learned.
Flying, Spiders, Tapioca, Needles, this is the short-list of fears I have faced. However, one fear remains which the facing of eludes me. Dear Ralph Waldo, help me, I fear, fear. Does being afraid to be afraid somehow, work like a grammatical double negative or multiplying two negative numbers together; does it nullify the negativity and create positivity? Does knowing that I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop keep it aloft? Facing my fear of fear, I did walk through the streets of a dirty, Jamaican port city, alone…That was stupid. I did stand up and play the Pink Panther Tenor Sax Solo, da dum, da dum, da dum…That was painful, for the audience. I did say, “Enough is enough” to a husband…That was strong. I did not say, “No” when my only child wanted to move three hours away from home for a better job…That was heartbreaking. Anyway, Emerson’s advice to better oneself by facing aversion has served me well; it has allowed me to become a version of my better self. Thanks Ralph..

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