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My Deepest, Darkest Fear

Let's keep this between us, ok?

My name is Jenna Weber, I’m 19 years old, and I still sleep with a night light. It’s okay to laugh.

When I was younger, the dark revealed monsters, thieves, ghosts, and robo-witch hybrids. After sundown, my unlit house made me a runner with a wild imagination--only instead of a track and batons, I had hallways and light switches. Going from the kitchen to my room was an olympic sport involving my fastest pace and a free hand. The dark didn’t just make seeing difficult… my fear was blinding.

Later in my childhood, I decided that my scary visitors disappeared when struck by light; if there was none available, I told myself a “shield” activated when I extended my arm. Yet, I could never make a “rule” that the monsters didn’t exist, nor did I bother befriending them.

Considering my legal adulthood, it feels silly to admit that I’ll still avoid a dark room. However, efforts to understand my fears remind me they are all rational. Even our most obscure nightmares have meaning.

Generally, we feel strong in company and vulnerable when alone. When it comes to the dark, however, I worry about hidden company. It’s like sneezing in an empty house only to hear a faint “bless you” from the other side. If I want to be or think I’m by myself, guests can be alarming. So, if shadows bring visitors, perhaps my hatred of the dark is rooted in my love of being alone.

Accepting both my introversion and lifelong fear takes honesty and patience. By recognizing that my energy comes from solitude, I can honor that need. As a result, I am more authentic in company. So, for me, introversion is not synonymous with “shy,” “awkward,” or “antisocial”; it means that I can get to be outgoing because I recharged on my own.

Thus, I no longer run from aloneness like I once ran from the dark. I don’t listen to those who tell me “there’s no way” I’m an introvert or that I‘m wrong for it. I don’t battle or deny the truest parts of myself, even if uncelebrated by others. When it’s pitch black, I accept my unease and walk calmly. When overwhelmed, I make time to just be.

Creating peace with our fears and identity makes them less scary, and us more genuine.

Lights in my dark dorm room!

1 Comment

Aug 04, 2022

Excellent reflection. ❤️ You are wise beyond your years little one. Love u. Mami

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