My biggest fear is vulnerability.

As a blog writer, this might come as a huge surprise-especially since my entire blog is literally my feelings- but I cannot stand the idea of not being in control.

I never really understood this fear until recently. I always thought I was just having weird teenage dilemmas, that I was only questioning myself because that’s what kids my age do, but I don’t think that’s the full story. Taking a step back, I can trace a certain pattern, an imbalance in my life that is driven by none other than fear. 

Ever since I was little, I felt like I had to be the  one to take charge, to never show I was hurt. To never show I was afraid. After my siblings were born, I was now and forever the older sister. It was my job to protect them.

I remember running up to a boy in my 5th grade class, telling him off for bullying my brother. I remember all the nights where I would rush to my sister’s side as she cried her eyes out. I remember me, being fearless and protective. So how could I possibly be afraid of anything?

It’s then I remember the days that I cried. Or should I say didn’t cry. The days spent where I refused to feel anything in fear that someone would see, someone who notice, and they would ask that dreaded question.

What’s wrong?

Deep down I always answer nothing, I’m fine, don’t worry about it. But somehow, I spill out. Sometimes I can’t hold the emotions back, and then the fear hits me.

I remember less than a month ago, at my first regional swim meet. It was packed with people and racers and coaches. It was terrifying. I could feel shivers down every inch of my body as I stood on the diving block. Nearly naked. Skin tight bathing suit. I felt exposed.

Everyone can see you

They are watching you

My brain was so filled with these thoughts, that by the time I dove off that block for my turn in the relay, it was too late. My legs carried me to the end where I missed the turn and flailed back to safety. Although I wasn’t safe, in fact none of our team was safe.

I knew I was going to break. My legs barely getting me to my best friend to let her in on the bad news. How I let everyone down. How everyone saw me fail. My tears didn’t stop and the people didn’t stop coming over to ask

What’s wrong

I cried harder. Pushed myself closer to the wall. Why did my eyes need to burst at this second. More people passing by. More tear down my face. My face getting redder and redder. They all saw me. They saw me cry. They saw me lose myself, pour my heart on the floor for everyone to gawk at. They could see me feel the feelings I hid. And that terrified me.

That day was my nightmare. A setting where I had no control. Where I was exposed physically, mentally and emotionally. That day I had lived the fear I though I never had, or wished I never had.

I used to think my ego was just too big to let anyone see me cry. That I had some irrational obsession with being strong and fearless. Maybe I am just too stubborn to let myself feel true feelings. Maybe I truly do have a fear that has been holding me back from the opportunities that shine brightest for me. Or maybe I’m just being melodramatic again.

Who knows…