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Tag Archives: Fear

Day #4: Celebrate Me

From I Saw You Dancing:

How are you going to celebrate your self this festive season?

Well, here’s a tough one.  Being harder on myself than anybody else, being constantly self-analytical — well, it’s difficult to conclude that I deserve to celebrate myself.  I could be a better father, a better partner, a better boss, a better employee.  I could always be a better human being.  And, given that, what is there to celebrate?

Ah, this is just a bad topic for me today.  Very contemplative.  More so than usual.  More blah.  More so than usual.  Celebrate myself?  What’s to celebrate?  As I wrote to a friend today … I’ve spent a lot of energy today thinking about the regrets that fill my life.

Here’s what I’ll do … I’m going to try to find a day some time in the next month where I’m going to do everything I possibly can to shut my brain off.  Find a place to go and do … what?  I don’t know.

Who am I kidding?  Shut my brain down?  Turn off all the endless thoughts that fill every nook and cranny?  Yeah, right.  Here’s what I need to do.  Here’s how I’m going to celebrate myself.

Find every opportunity I can to spend time with the people I enjoy the most, delving into their innermost secrets and desires.  Laughing and living.  Being instead of becoming.

There will be a day this month when I find a river or an ocean beach.  (Strong preference for the beach.)  There, I’ll be by myself for a bit … walking and pondering.  Maybe just maybe, I’ll celebrate myself by considering the positives that have come from the things I regret.  Because you know what, every regret has a good that came with it.  Here’s one …

I regret that I lived a childhood filled with fear.  The other boys got together and played tackle football every fall for years.  I refrained because of my fear of getting hurt.  All I could see when I envisioned playing tackle football was my body lying at the bottom of a heap of boys with broken bones protruding from my body.  I regret all the fun I missed as a child because of my fears.  I feared roller coasters and never rode them until…

Well, here’s the positive of this regret.  Went to Disneyland this summer and for the first time ever went on just about every roller coaster there and had such incredible fun.  Best time ever!  So, the positive?  Maybe, it’s this … saving some of those things for later and then overcoming the fears and experiencing something you’ve resisted for years, decades, well, it makes it all the more sweeter.

Another way I’ll celebrate myself this holiday season … overcome a fear and experience something I’ve never experienced before.  Got any ideas?

Best I can do with this prompt.


November 21, 2012

Don’t ask me what’s got into me with these …


Insecurity      (How cool is that, a five syllable word)

Defeat, conquer, blow … it … up

Never stop … ever



You are the only person that has your power because there is no other person like you.  There is no other person who controls you.  It is entirely up to you.  Be the person you are meant to be and want to be.  Use your power.  Don’t be afraid of it.  Put that insecurity in a box, wrap it tightly with tape, place it out in the middle of the street, or in your backyard, and blow the damn box up.  Take charge.  Say what you feel and feel what you say.  Be you and to hell with the people who can’t take it.  It’s their problem, not yours.


I wish this was the acoustic version, but YouTube has its limits …


When Imagination becomes Reality

I have this really unfortunate aspect to my imagination.  It’s the part that imagines catastrophe around every corner.  Maybe it’s an outgrowth of the part of my childhood when I imagined or was afraid of all of the worst things happening — the house burning down, intruders killing us all, you know, that kind of fun stuff.

As an adult, I still have a catastrophe-centered imagination at times.  Driving across a bridge in the Bay Area, I imagine the next big earthquake striking while I’m in the middle of the span.  Flying on an airplane, I imagine somebody with a rocket launcher on the ground just waiting to push the trigger and release their missile at the plane I’m on or for some mid-air calamity to strike.  Driving down the freeway, I imagine some driver headed the other way losing control and hurtling across the center divide.  Better yet, if it’s a semi that loses control.  When my kids were younger, and they played outside, I always saw them doing something and falling and hitting their heads on concrete.

One piece of creative thinking on my part has been with me consistently for years.  It’s the fear that I’ll be in the middle of a shooting spree or hostage situation.  I hate when my imagination becomes reality.  No, I wasn’t there and I hope I don’t know anybody who was.  It’s a tragedy for those who were there.  And, no my fear has become a reality.  It has that much more meaning.  Ugh.

This scenario, by the way, plays a role in one of my incomplete novels.  Terror in a Small Town culminates with a hostake situation at a … movie theater.

Overcoming Fear

In my post 100 Things About Me there is a theme that lurks not so quietly throughout the piece.  It is fear and how fear has ruled my life — both motivating me and holding me back.

It’s interesting that the people around me don’t know this about me.  I asked my mother last night if she knew just how fearful I was as a child.  I asked her if she knew how afraid I was to fall asleep at night because of the witch outside my window, the man laying under my bed ready to snatch my hand if I hung it over the side of my bed, of the ogre in the closet, of the snakes at the end of the bed, of the intruder who would break in and kill us all, of the fire that would leave our house in ashes.  She didn’t have a clue.  I guess I hid my fears well.

In recent years, I’ve started to overcome what fears I can.  I held a snake last year.  Not once, but twice. I dove headfirst into a pool for the first time a few years ago and manage to do it every now and then ever since.

When I was a kid we went to Fairy Tale Town and Funderland frequently.  Funderland is a little amusement park in Land Park in Sacramento.  Little kid rides.  I don’t know how old I was, but one day I went with my siblings on the roller coaster there.  Yes, it achieves a maximum speed of 8 miles per hour and has a massive 8 foot drop.  And, they had to stop it early so I could get off.  Since that day, I never went on another roller coaster and have stayed away from all of those midway rides that spin you around in circles and go sideways and upside down.  When I was twelve or thirteen and my family went to Great America in Santa Clara County, I spent the day riding the old-fashioned cars, while everybody else played loosely with their lives.  I was fine with that.  Nobody ever died on the cars.  Fear is a powerful thing.

I’ve been to Disneyland four times in my life.  Never been on any of the roller coasters there.  Oh sure, it’s because the line is too long.  Right.  Right?

This week was my fifth trip to the Happiest Place on Earth.  I did not want to go.  We have a visitor from Illinois.  I wanted to take her to Yosemite.  Or Santa Cruz.  Or Lake Tahoe.  We went to Disneyland instead.  We spent two days at Disneyland and one day at California Adventure.  I thought it was going to be horrible.  It’s June.  School is out.  There were going to be masses of people there, the lines would be horrible.

An odd thing happened on my way to misery.  It wasn’t so bad.  The longest line I had to wait in was 45 minutes.  We only used fast passes twice.  One for the new ride in Cars Land.  And, one for Splash Mountain.

Yes, that’s me in the tie-dye shirt, having an incredible time.  But, first a few introductions.  The first person is the oldest Princely Midget.  The second is our visitor, screaming in terror.  The third is the younger Princely Midget, pretending to sleep through the fall.  And, then there’s me.

This week I overcame another fear.  By the end of the three days, I had ridden Splash Mountain, Indiana Jones, Thunder Mountain, and the Matterhorn.  I lived to tell the tale and had a great time doing it.

No, I did not go on California Screamin’, although by the end of the third day, I was ready to do it.  Just didn’t get back to California Adventure.  And, no, I did not go on Tower of Terror.  I have to hold on to some fears, don’t I?  For instance, that night-time fear stays with me still.  Don’t know how to overcome that one.  There’s still a witch outside the window and a man under the bed.

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