Corrigan: Facing fears today and every day


It’s funny how your worst fear changes over the years.

When I was a little girl, my worst fear was that a monster was under my bed waiting to grab my ankles. That’s in part because of the Disney Channel movie, “Don’t Look Under the Bed,”, but also because my brother was an asshole and waited for three hours under my bed for the perfect moment to scare the piss (literally) out of me. But after my brother did that, I was no longer afraid. It’s like the exposure and the acknowledgement of my fear made it disappear.

Then I hit puberty and my worst fear were school dances.

It was my first school dance, and I was the chubby awkward girl with braces and frizzy hair who was friends with all of the cute popular girls who had the right sneakers and Hollister jeans that I couldn’t fit into.

Do you remember how important sneakers and Hollister were in middle school?

I went into the dance with a pit in my stomach because I knew I wouldn’t be asked to slow dance, when all of my friends would be picked first to dance.

I wish I could say that Max, the pre-pubescent sixth-grade dreamboat, asked me to dance, but he did not. That only happens in Disney Channel movies.

I sat at a table and watched my friends dance, and to tell the truth, it wasn’t that bad. I ate a couple handfuls of M&M’s, drank some Hawaiian Punch, and let go of that fear.

Now, as an adult, my worst fear is being inadequate.

Whether the inadequacy lies in my friendships with others, or my grades in my classes, my pace when I’m running miles, or that my writing is not good enough.

Hell, I’m worried that this very column is inadequate.

I constantly fear that I’m not measuring up, but I also must constantly confront this fear. Sometimes, I fail. Sometimes, my test comes back with a lousy score. Sometimes, I miss my mark with my writing. Sometimes, I order the tuna sub from Subway for my friend only to realize that they hate tuna, have always hated tuna, and have been vegan for two years.

The point is, we all have fears. These fears are ever-evolving and becoming more complex, especially in our world today.

What we can do about these fears is, face them. Confront them. Sit with them and get to know them. And once you’ve faced one of your fears, help someone else face their own, because the truth is, we’re all afraid — but fears are pummeled by strength in numbers.