“How would your life be different if you were incapable of feeling fear? Would your life be better or worse than it is now?”
This was a prompt from a Twitter account that I follow. After giving it a little thought, my answer would have to be that I was never just flat-out scared of anything. Other than heights. Heights scare the shit right out of me. Other than heights, not much scares me. I have reservations about many things, people, and places. But, no actual fear has ever coursed through my body. Even when myself and some friends left the roadway at 80 + miles per hour back in high school and drove through a field dodging ancient oaks, sans seatbelts. Nor when my house caught fire.
The way I see it, there is a world of difference between ‘fear’ and ‘reservation’. Many things give me pause, and I’ll gladly admit that. Not many things scare me. I have been startled beyond belief as well, but once that initial reaction passes, there is no fear.
If I were incapable of feeling fear…….my life would be just the same. However, if I were incapable of the crippling reservations I feel toward the prospect of change, my life would be very different. For starters, after graduating from college, I would have gone to the Northeast Georgia Law Enforcement Academy in Athens and become a law enforcement officer of some sort. Most likely a school resource officer or something of that nature. I never envisioned myself working a patrol or a shift. Instead something where I could put my book learning to use. LOL. I always wanted to be a PE teacher/coach as well. I could have been both of those things.
Could have. But, instead I decided to graduate from college and proceed to waste the next 18-20 years making shitty life choices (moving back to my hometown), and becoming a fucking hard core, knuckle dragging drunk. I’ve always tap danced around the law enforcement thing. First, I became a dispatcher at our local Sheriff’s Department for 3 years, then a Child Support Enforcement judicial “Specialist” for the State of Florida for 12 years, and now an “Analyst” for Crime Victim Services with our State Attorney General’s Office, 2 years and counting. Always dancing around the original plan. Nineteen years later.
So, ‘Fear’ hasn’t shaped my life. It’s been the crippling lack of ambition and reservation about change, that has shaped it. And beer.