A lot of times, I read the top stories on Medium for inspiration. Today, I read this one called “i miss not being scared” by danah boyd. I really like how its title is all lowercase because it seems a lot more real that way. The story is about how the speaker misses not being afraid. She talks about her youth and how she would always take risks without ever thinking about the consequences or fearing what would happen and how she is now burdened by fear of everything. She always thinks the worst when someone doesn’t pick up the phone or is late and doesn’t her children to take the risks for fear of them getting in trouble.
All of this seems really reasonable to me and as a youth, I wish I couldn’t agree with the title because I was still free of fear. Unfortunately, I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t scared. As long as I can remember, I’ve always been very cautious and unwilling to take risks. I was always scared, whether of being in trouble or getting hurt. This made me a super lame kid, but really easy to deal with for my parents. They never really had to worry about me getting in trouble or hurting myself because of how cautious I was. This is the obvious explanation for why I’ve never broken a bone, never got a detention and don’t really know what “grounding” means. This also means that I can’t miss not being scared because I don’t really know what that means.
I do wonder what it would be like if I ever took risks in my life. Maybe I would have better stories to tell. The most adventurous I ever got was sneaking out at midnight to take a walk around the neighborhood. Not even to go to some cool event or party or something. Just a walk. Meanwhile, I’m sure many of my friends have stories about sneaking out to get wasted at some party or something like that. I don’t really see the appeal in that, but a huge part of that is fear of losing things if I were ever intoxicated or doing something embarrassing or getting caught for underage drinking. There are so many “or”s and there always have been. What would it be like if I could quiet that voice in my head telling me how everything could go wrong? What would it be like to not be scared?