“A Life Lived in Fear is a Life Half Lived.” – Baz Lurhmann

“Fear” posts are never something I thought I’d ever write about, much less as a blog post. Conveniently; I’ve written two. If you haven’t already read through my first one, there’s still time to do that. It’s right here.

Why am I writing a second? Well, funny you should ask. This post is in response to Amanda’s second blog challenge. In the first portion, we were asked to list five things that we are afraid might happen to us. For the second part, we are supposed to select one and write a story about it. In honor of the challenge, I chose new fears that I haven’t mentioned previously. Turns out, I’m kind of a chicken. So without further ado, my list.

Part One.

{1.} Getting into trouble.
{2.} Being forgotten or replaced.
{3.} Losing all of the people that I love.
{4.) Working until the day I die without ever doing the things on my “bucket list.”
{5.} Large bodies of water. I.e., A lake or an ocean; excludes pools.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

{1.} I fear getting into trouble. It doesn’t matter who the person is or what it might regard. It doesn’t matter if I did or did not do something wrong. If someone pulls me aside to talk to me, and it seems as if I’m in trouble, I instantly have fear. Maybe I was raised never to want to get into trouble. Or perhaps I have some weird mental blocker where I can’t get past it. Regardless, I can’t stand the feeling I get in my gut or the thoughts that run through my head.

{2.} I fear being forgotten or replaced. I’ve struggled with forming relationships almost my entire life. There have been many times where I did not feel as though I belonged or was welcome. So when I do meet people and form bonds, then those same people leave or decide they no longer need me in their life, I learn what it’s like to feel the fear of being forgotten or replaced. Sometimes, it is a real replacement. Other times, I’m merely a passing thought.

I’m sure I’m guilty of it as well, but it tears me up with fear when I realize that maybe I don’t mean all that much to the people around me. Or that maybe, just maybe, someone else might decide to replace me too. It’s as if no one needs me in their life but chooses to have me around out of convenience. Not overly reassuring, is it?

But it’s stupid, really.
Everyone has a time and a place in your life, right? I know this, and in my head, it makes sense. But the fear still lingers, like a fire ready to engulf me in flames whenever I open up to someone new.

It really kills me when people tell me, “Oh, we could never to do that to you. You’re such a sweetheart with such a kind soul. We don’t deserve you.” And then months later, they do it too. Probably where my fear stems from, honestly. Actions speak louder than words, or something like that. You know what I mean?

{3.} I fear losing all of the people that I love. I feel like this coincides with my previously mentioned fear of being forgotten or replaced, but also with being alone and that maybe this is instinctual. No one wants to lose someone they love. Loss, in itself, is hard enough. I couldn’t imagine my life without my support system. Even while trying to write why I fear it, I’m left with a blank emptiness because without them I know I would be a complete and utter mess. So we’ll leave it at that for now because there are no words.

{4.} I fear working until the day I die without ever accomplishing anything on my “bucket list.” Now, let’s be clear, I have a pretty short bucket list. Though if I were to die today, I feel as though most of my time will have been spent working for companies that could care less about me and my dreams.

You’re probably yelling at the screen, “So go do the things you want to do and buy the things you want to buy and go where you want to go.”

Seems that simple, doesn’t it?

In my mind though?
I have a job that “needs” me.
I have bills.
I need to be responsible.
I’m “not allowed to have fun.”

Don’t ask me about the last one. I have a tendency to tell myself these strange lies. (;

Anyway, a guest that came into work one night said it best: “It is a shame that you’ve never been to Vegas. Work will always be there for you when you get back. You remind me of my mom. She works all the time and never does anything for herself or takes time off. She’s always canceling or pushing things off until later so that she can try to earn more money. Don’t be like that, work will always be work and will always be there. If you miss things like Vegas, what else are you postponing for a future you  may never allow yourself to have?”

His answer was, of course, in response to his return back home to Vegas, where I responded that I’d never been but heard it was a lot of fun. It definitely hit home though that I work too hard.

Stephen King said it best in The Shining, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

{5.} And last, but not least, I fear bodies of water, like lakes and oceans. It’s not a huge fear. I still go to them, will paddleboard on them and will fish in them.


Standing in the water, or swimming, canoeing or falling off of my paddle board. These things cause an irrational fear to build inside of me because I’m not always one hundred percent certain that I know what’s in the water.

In my head, I could die from seaweed wrapping around my ankle. Or maybe a fish decides I’m dinner (by fish, I mean shark). I could step on something, or something might swim between my legs (this has happened before). Either way, I don’t enjoy the fear that overwhelms me when I can’t see the crystal clear image of the bottom below (think of what it’s like to be in a beautiful, chlorine-filled pool).

Don’t even get me started on oceans. There are so many crevices and channels and critters that who knows what could linger in the hidden deep below. I watched a documentary once where they said they still don’t know all of the creatures that live in the ocean because there are depths that we cannot reach. Ehh, I might also have a very vivid imagination and allow it to run wild in such instances. I’ll let you make up your mind about that one. xD

So there you have it.
My list.

I have lots of crazy thoughts swimming in my mind sometimes. Some, maybe all, are irrational but these are some of the things I fear. Anyway, this takes me to part two. I hope you enjoy a little short about a fear of mine thrown onto one of my characters.

Part Two.


Sloane drove her explorer to the edge of the parking lot and opened the trunk before hoisting her paddleboard onto her back. It weighed twenty pounds uninflated and fit securely into a backpack with the paddle and pump. She loved the sleek design and colors of her board. The red with the black and white stripes made her feel like she paddled in style.

She held a hand over her eyes, brushing a lock of burgundy hair away from her face, as she scanned the beach for the perfect spot. Her amber eyes fell on a small patch of sand near an oak tree just off the water’s edge. She smiled and waved her friends over before pointing it out to them.

Kristin, Kinsley, and Jo parked next to her before grabbing their gear. They began inflating their boards as Jo eased out onto the water after tossing her flip-flops next to the ‘no lifeguard’ sign. “See ya ’round, suckers,” she chuckled before paddling out. She stood as tall as she could muster on her solid board as she lifted the paddle over her head.

“Show off! Some of us aren’t as rich as you and can’t afford regular boards,” Kinsley teased as she shook her head and focused on the task at hand. The girls shared a laugh and pressed forward. Kristin let out a sigh. She always got so impatient with the inflation part. She pumped air into the teal paddleboard and waited until she felt the tension. “Well, that’s as far as it needs. I think it’ll work.” She walked over the top of it and jumped in the center. “It seems fine to me.”

Kinsley rolled her eyes in Sloane’s direction as they shared another giggle, then watched Kristen take off. She was a little wobbly at first finding her balance. Eventually, she found her groove and managed to reach Jo.

It took a few moments longer, but Kinsley and Sloane finally reached the exact pressure point required. Sloane released a sigh and waited for Kinsley to take off first. She wasn’t sure that she was ready to head out on the water just yet. Kinsley’s expertise showed as she paddled out with ease. Without her, none of them would have ever thought to try their hand at paddleboarding.

They all cheered for Sloane to join them. She could feel the pressure as she guided her board over to the water. Sloane pushed the back end out first, making sure to avoid catching the fins in the sand. Exhaling, she placed her bare feet into the water. She closed her eyes for a moment, wondering how she managed to get herself into this mess.

“Come on, Sloaney Bologna!”

Every time.

She always had some kind of remark or comment for Sloane when they first started out on a lake. Sloane rolled her eyes. “Yeah, yeah. I’m coming. Shut up.” She released one last sigh before climbing atop her board on her knees. Refocusing her attention, she adjusted her legs so that they distributed her weight evenly. A few seconds passed, then she pressed her toes into the foam and stood. Her legs shook underneath her, but she was holding her position and accepted that as a success.

“You can do this,” Sloane whispered under her breath. She was still far enough from the other girls that she didn’t have to worry about them overhearing her. Extending the length of the paddle, Sloane thrust it into the water and straightened before switching sides and repeating the motion. She reached the others, secretly hoping that they couldn’t see her trembling lip.

“Ay-hey! She finally made it.” Kristin rocked her paddleboard from side to side as she grinned. They came to this lake at least once a week, so it was no surprise that Kristin felt as confident as she did. Sloane, on the other hand, kept thinking about all of the critters living below her as her paddleboard shifted in the oncoming waves. Her mind took her back to last week when a friendly fish decided to splash the top of the water while she was near a cove. She shuddered.

Kinsley maneuvered her board in front of the rest of them and planted herself in the middle. “Did you hear about Molly?” They watched her place her head in her hands as she transitioned to her belly and placed the paddle under her chest.

Jo let out a sigh. “Not this again. No one cares that Molly’s knocked up.” Kinsley let out a groan. “Yeah, we all know she’s pregnant. But do you know who the father is?” Jo raised an eyebrow before laying herself down in the center of her board as well. “Do tell.” They all shared a laugh.

“It’s that new guy, Caleb.” She wiggled her eyebrows. “He just started like, three weeks ago? Yeah. I’m pretty sure.” Kristin’s jaw was the first to drop. “Really? But he’s like, seventeen.”

She nodded. “Exactly. Scandalous, right? I about blew a gasket.” The park ranger’s boat passed by, causing waves to grow in size. Sloane started to drift from them and felt herself falling. She caught herself on the front of her board but felt her heart race. Her eyes focused on the floating seaweed, bugs, and bubbles that rose with a passing wave. Closing her eyes, she tried to remain calm as images of large fish swimming below filled her mind. Sloane could feel her muscles tense as she struggled to pull herself together.

A splash from behind made her jump. Sloane turned around and saw Jo in the water. “Jo! What happened?” She momentarily forgot about her own fear and paddled towards her friend’s board. “I’m fine,” she laughed. “I jumped off.” Relief swept through her. “Oh,” she finally muttered after Jo pulled her lean body above the water. “Yeah, it was about time I got wet anyway.”

“That’s what she said,” Kristin retorted before jumping into the water. When she reached the top, she threw her long, ash blonde hair behind her and twisted it into a ponytail. She was about to get out when her face disappeared below the water’s surface. Sloane’s heart began to beat faster. “Kristin?!” She could hear her own panic in her voice as she searched for her friend.

Jo and Kinsley, on the other hand, just watched comfortably from their paddleboards, waiting. “Guys, this isn’t funny! Where is she?” She frantically examined the water, but couldn’t find her.

Splashes of water hit the back of her head. “Calm down, brainiac. I’m right here.” Sloane cocked her head in their direction and noticed Kristin leaning between Jo and Kinsley’s paddleboards. “Not okay,” she mumbled and lifted her paddle from the water. “You guys suck.”

“Oh, come on. It was just a joke.”

They called after her, but she refused to turn around. It didn’t take long for them to catch up to her since she was still fighting off her nerves. Jo reached her first and bumped into her paddleboard and threw her into the water. Her stomach dropped immediately. It felt like slow motion as she entered the water. Her mind went first to the fact that her life vest was on top of her board and second to the images of floating things in the water.

Sloane tried to breathe but felt liquid enter the crease of her mouth. She closed her eyes and attempted to focus on swimming upward, but her mind showed her an image of a fish swimming near her. She reopened her eyes and glanced around her frantically. The water looked murky and green. Her heart felt like it would burst out of her chest and explode at any moment.

Seaweed touched her foot, causing her to let out a yelp. More water entered her mouth, and she struggled to prevent herself from swallowing. Searching for the sun, she scrambled to the surface. Sloane kicked as hard as she could. Her head broke through the wave first, and she gasped for air. “Sloane? You okay?” Kinsley reached out her hand, attempting to grab her, but her mind was elsewhere.

Something had wrapped itself around her leg. She kicked furiously in an attempt to remove it, but it wouldn’t shake loose. She swam to her board and realized it was upside down. “You know she hates when she’s in the water, Jo. What were you thinking?”

‘Thanks, Kinsley,’ Sloane thought as she freed her ankle and pushed herself onto the board. When it didn’t turn over, she could feel the panic settle back down in the pit of her stomach. ‘Relax, Sloane. You can do this.’ She took a deep breath and allowed her head to go under the water once more before she reached the surface and used her legs to kick her forward. As she pushed herself upward, she moved her arms under the paddleboard and managed to turn it right side up.

Sloane ignored their idle chatter as she clung to the board for dear life. She couldn’t remember how to pull herself back up without looking like an idiot, but at the moment, she couldn’t care less. She reached for the back of her board and wrapped her legs around it, forcing herself on top. It took her a few moments, but Sloane finally managed to slow her breathing. She waited for her heart to calm down before sitting upright. The other girls watched from a distance, checking on her. None of them were sure what to say, and from the looks of it, Jo looked like she felt a small hint of guilt for pushing her off.

She didn’t say anything as she acknowledged the item that was wrapped around her ankle. It was the cord so that she didn’t lose her board while on the lake. She exhaled, hating herself for allowing the cable to freak her out as much as it did. After a few moments longer, she removed her paddle from the water and headed toward the shore.

“I’m gonna go get some fruit,” Sloane finally offered. They all acknowledged her with an okay. She hoped that they wouldn’t follow her. She was embarrassed and afraid, tired and soaking wet. When she reached the shoreline, she pulled the board far enough out of the water so that it wouldn’t get pulled out while she rested. It took her a moment, but she reached her towel and spread it out under the tree before lying down.

“Sloane, I’m really sorry.”

“It’s fine, Jo.” It was all she could muster. She felt so much fear in her gut still from being in the water and inhaling so much of it. Jo continued to ramble about how she was messing around and that she didn’t mean it but Sloane lay there in silence. She nodded every once in a while but refused to utter a word. Eventually, Jo gave up and went back out on the lake. Sloane let the sun bake the water off of her skin before deciding it was time to get back in the water.

This time, she climbed on top of her board and stood immediately. “You have got to get over this fear,” she mumbled as she pushed herself away from the shore. Already, she could feel the paddleboard shift underneath her. A knot began to form in her stomach as she examined the water. Being able to see the ground from the top, was not as reassuring as she once presumed it to be. Instead, her anxiety began to soar through the roof as she forced herself farther out.

“Throw yourself off,” Sloane whispered under her breath. “Just throw yourself off.” Licking her lips, she began to rock her board. The water teased her heels and toes ever so softly as she shifted her body to one side, then the other. Her arms shook first this time, as her body wobbled with the oncoming wave. She could feel the tunnel vision as her mind focused on the water below.

Inhaling, Sloane closed her eyes and tried to regain her composure. “Knock it off, and quit being such a chicken. Get in the water.” Her words were louder this time, but she didn’t care. It wasn’t the fear of swimming. In her head, she knew she could swim. But, for whatever reason, her body and mind would not let go of the things below.

Releasing the breath she was holding, she opened her eyes, paddled out just a little bit farther, and forced herself off of her board. Without a life jacket, she struggled once more to reach the surface, but this time, it wasn’t as long. As her mind scattered to the creatures of the lake, she turned the fear into energy and propelled herself out of the water. She took a deep breath of fresh air, swam to her board and convinced herself to stay in the water a while longer.

She heard the other girls as they made their way to her in a hurry. She smiled for a second, realized she was okay and climbed back onto her board from the side this time. After another second or two, Sloane felt her body relax. Her friends were still far enough out that she felt proud for doing it all by herself. “You can do this. It’s okay to be afraid, but don’t let fear keep you from doing what you love.”

Facing the sun, Sloane turned her paddleboard with ease. All previous traces of her shakiness had vanished as she paddled to her friends. The girls spent the rest of the afternoon exploring their favorite lake, with Sloane taking the same risks as everyone else until the sun finally reached the mountaintop for the evening.