Reasonable Fear (Trigger Warning)

I have been reminded in the last year a great deal that fear is never reasonable, except… I was wrong to tell myself this. Fear is most often quite reasonable and is a rather rational emotion. It is our reaction to fear that tends to be irrational. It is the flight or fight response that I have personally been taught to ignore. I didn’t put this together fully yet but I feel it.

I am very much in a bubble at times and in looking at places of California, trying to fathom living where there are more people in one town than in the entirety of my state I noticed the palm trees. My brain did it’s meta data response and I realized, Palm Trees have coconuts. My imagination made a three dimensional build up of a variety of coconut related cataclysms. These included death by coconut during earth quakes to random car accidents, and then they lost some sense of reality. So I asked if they grew coconuts, a logical question given that I wasn’t really sure about the biology of palm trees. I am still trying to resist the urge to read everything I can find about palm trees to stay my fears.

M my dear friend who lives beneath these Palm Trees of Doom assured me that they are sterile palms ordered specifically because of this. My mind now sees the city of Los Angeles as a fan of disabled palm trees, after all palms are generally used for food and that is how the trees reproduce. So, they are unable to fulfil most of their tree related daily living tasks. I am not sure why I went there in my brain but M being M assures me it is cute and he can see why this is a reasonable fear.

How could I avoid the trees? I am also afraid of fires and earth quakes and mudslides, all of which do occur in California. He has been through earthquakes without noticing them, something that I just cannot concieve of. Yet, my fear, despite the amusing mental images of Hollywood disaster movies with coconuts as the disaster and the myriad of things that could go wrong because of the coconuts, including them actually being bowling balls courtesy of the Flintstones and my allergies to coconuts are reasonable fears. They are in my mind because I either am vulnerable to them or I don’t know how to stop such things and everyone is vulnerable to the flaming coconuts being rained down from the firey palm trees.

I am also afraid to go somewhere expensive. I am looking at the cost of living and with housing, it isn’t worse. The food I need is less expensive, the housing is far nicer. I am just afraid of change in general. I have never really been anywhere with so many people. That and Venice appears to be a place where all the side walks are actually flat not standing on end or so broken up that you choose streets or sidewalks that end randomly with no way down and that’s if you are bipedal. I am afraid of going somewhere else, because I know that I will no longer be one of the smartest (okay that one may not be true) I will no longer seem worldly or cultured to the surrounding people, and their minds are open. Not just comparitively but despite a lot of flaws in general US citizens, California was the start of the independent living movement. I am effected by the actions of the open minded and willful who live and have lived there.

I am afraid of not being hungry, though literally I am full there are more options there for me to consume. There are more ways for me to be. There are things to do. I could go to a museum without it being dramatic. I am afraid of not being isolated by who I am anymore. I have never lived in any other place except this poverty driven world where all the bad things that happen to me are called fantasy. I am afraid that in this place so far from the evil I know, the evils I do not know are as bad or worse.

I am afraid of being so near the people I care about. What if I don’t meet their expectations? Distance has buffered them some of my horribleness. I am a great person but I am also capable of being cranky and raw. I am also able to hide a lot of my pain via distance. At least I think I do. That may be untrue which scares me too. M comments sometimes that every picture I have my eyes are full of things, secrets, pain, and the unspeakable things I have seen are there. He sees other things. He sees the softness I try to hide at all costs, he sees my hopes and dreams there, and he sees fear. He sees mostly heartbreak and he says strength.

I am afraid all of that will go away. I am also afraid that once I see the ocean I will stop yearning to stretch my wings and fly. All of these fears are reasonable. It is very reasonable for me to look at this life changing decision I have made that I keep remaking, and feel fear. Yet, why should I live somewhere that I am unhappy with just because somewhere looks expensive on the surface? The math is showing me that California is a valuable investment. The housing is better, the cities are cleaner in a physical sense albiet more polluted and populated, and instead of being near people I am terrified will find me who want me dead in plural as well as my mother who thinks she loves me but acts out of fear and hate…. I will be near a woman who is like a sister to me, my god children, and M.

M who I love so much that sometimes I cry out of fear of that love. M who didn’t let me give up. M who loves me too. I will be somewhere that I don’t have to hide every piece of myself when I go outside. I am afraid most of all of trying to live without the masks that New Mexico requires. It is ahborrent here, and I am terrified of this hope I feel when I think of living in California.

Yes it rains more there than it has in the last four years, yes it is sunny. It is not as hot as here, which is better and I have a theory that the rain being more than a rarity will make the disabling effects go away. Not the water allergy but, that’s what long sleeves are for. Plus, if I go to California, I can stop crying when I think about how much I want to be there. Even if the palm trees had grown coconuts. It would be worth it just to take the risk of being happy more than sad.

The only unreasonable fear is the fear denied, the fear that you let paralyze you into a mental, physical, or emotional death. Fear is a catalyst for change most often, it is the fear we treat as if it is an outsider that hurts us. So I embrace my fear today, and start to lay the plans into the great and wild unknown. I have taken on many burdens, and perhaps it is time to take on one that actually has benefits that I can see and account instead of guessing at the possibility of mere survival. Besides, I think Sprite would love the beach. She likes to roll in the sand here, and an endless swath of sand? She’d be in heaven.

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