Today's prompt in the Blog Every Day In May challenge, is to write about what is most feared. I fear, or at least feel anxious about, quite a lot really. In a phobic sense, I am afraid of birds. But I am trying really hard not to pass this on to Dear Boy. We sit in the back yard and 'caw' back at the crows, and warble at the magpies, and twitter with everything else. I try hard not to shoo them when they land on the grass close to where he plays. Instead I try to watch; I try to let him watch. I am trying to feel that fresh amazement at the power of flight.
The more encompassing fear, the life-wide one, at the moment though is the fear of being OZ-ed. I not sure that's really the right way to spell it but Google is failing me on an origin for that phrase. What I mean, really, refers to The Wizard of Oz and the part of the story where the curtain is pulled aside and the Great and Powerful Oz is really just a bloke pulling strings, speaking in a funny voice and making it up as he goes along. He is also the proverbial duck - serene on the surface and paddling like hell under the water - to make sure people don't find out that he's a fraud, that there's really nothing there.
So that's a really long, weird explanation for feeling like a fraud in quite a few aspects of my life and fearing being outed. I keep waiting for the entirely imaginary life police to come knocking and take away the good stuff. To take away the magazine and journal articles that I slaved over; to take away all the letters after my name that I spent nine and a half years accruing; to take away my job where I teach adults about all manner of things because it's assumed I know quite a bit about them; take away Lovely Husband because he's so incredibly smart that there really has to have been some kind of mistake that he loves me, who really isn't smart in the same way he is; take away Dear Boy because, holey-moley, why am I making life-altering decisions for another human being when this week I can't even get him to eat anything other than bread, corn, fruit and yoghurt.
What this is is a lack of confidence in my abilities and my achievements and a fear of not being good enough. Not feeling good enough (and getting quite a few flashing signs telling me so) is a recurrent theme here at the moment. How sad-sack does that sound? It's entirely stupid, because intellectually I know I'm pretty good at a lot of things and really good at some things, but who said fears were rational?
Sometimes, though, I'd really like those big life hints, those flashing signs, to say 'you're good; you're really good; in fact, you're the best; here's a reward'.
What are you afraid of? (If it's birds, I so understand. It's the flapping around the face thing, right?)