My Big Secret

Truth be told, I write two types of posts, public and private. Further truth – I haven't written in either in a while. It’s a shame because writing is liberating for me. It helps me pull a single (mostly) strain of thought from everything that is bouncing around in my head. Usually, when I write in this blog, it isnt for my many many follower – (meaning my mom and maybe a few other people), but in the words of a movie I’m ashamed to quote, “And remember, this is for posterity so be honest.” In other words, I try to write so that maybe in the moments when I have my personal epiphanies, someone down the road will at least have the “should have listened to him” thought when they face the same challenges. Assuming that they are related to me, they will probably want to learn their lesson the hard way. I’m ok with that. I think life requires it. The “light at the end of the tunnel” so to speak though is knowing what to do after you’ve learned your lesson.
If you know me, you may know that like stuffing yourself at a buffet, I try to get the better of Netflix by watching more than my fair share. For the most part, I don’t actually watch what is going on. It’s my version of background music (although, I will admit its more distracting than music). Recently, I finished watching “Supernatural.” It’s a mid-day drama on TNT(?) that focuses on two brothers facing supernatural events in their quest to defeat evil. For the most part, the show consists of mediocre effects of explosions and ghosts that end in a few minutes of a interpersonal relationships between the two moments where they make some profound discovery or realization.
In one of the episodes, Dean (one of the brothers) and Tessa (a reaper) is talking to a child (Cole) who has refused to “move on” in order to stay by his mother.
“Look at her, Cole,” Tessa says. “Do you see how unhappy she is?” “That’s why I want to stay with her,” he says. “As long as she can feel you, she’ll be in pain. Cause she can’t let go,” Tessa says gently. “Because you won’t let go of her.” “Why won’t anyone tell me what’s on the other side?” Cole asks. “Maybe nobody wants to ruin the surprise,” she says. Dean smirks a little. “That’s not an answer,” Cole says. “She won’t answer you, Cole. Reapers never do,” Dean says. “But trust me - staying here is a whole lot worse than whatever’s over there.” “Why?” he asks. “Because one day your family will be gone. And there’ll be nothing left here for you,” Dean says. “It’s okay to be scared.” “I’m not scared,” Cole says quickly. “We’re all scared,” Dean says. “That’s the big secret. We’re all scared.”
That’s my big secret. I’m scared. I think we all are. (Sorry if you where reading this hoping to get some dirt on me.)
Zach, an old roommate who was a youth counselor this summer, told me a few days after I saw the episode of Supernatural that one of the speakers at the camp had made an interesting observation. The speaker asked people in the room what they did when they heard a knock at the door. The first answer was “open the door” but after some discussion a little more truth came out. Most confessed that before they even knew who was at the door they went into panic mode trying to clean the whole house in 15 seconds. The speaker asked why this was their first response. The answer came that they “didn’t want someone to think they where messy” or that they want to “make a good impression” but those where just symptoms of the disease. Fear. We are so scared of that person on the other side of the door and what they may think that we panic.
Answering the door was just one example. Nearly everything we do can be traced back to something similar. Personally, I go to school because I’m afraid of not being able to take care of my (future) family. I read the news constantly because I’m scared of the war in the middle east and the financial turmoil here in the states, I recently got a concealed license permit and a gun because I’m afraid of not being prepared if I need it. I fall into cultural norms because I’m afraid of sticking out or not being accepted. I hide my personal believes about religion, politics, social and fiscal issues, and a host of other things because I’m scared what people will think. I’m so scared of some of my personal trials that I’ve run half way across the country to try to get rid of them and they are still there. I’ll even go as far as to admit that im tempted to read journals laying in the open just to affirm to myself that other people have problems. (That’s right – go re-hide your journal when I’m in the house.)
Fear never leaves, it cold, dark, lonely, and without mercy. It’s consumed me at times and driven me to do things that I would have never though possible of myself. I’ve tried replacing it with planning, preparation, and justification. I do all of that and it hardly ever works..
What to do then? I don’t know to be honest. As I start another semester and get closer to graduating, I do all I can do. I put my head down and take a step forward. That’s the beauty of time. It never stops, never slows down, and never repeats itself (unless you have a 81’ DeLorean). It’s the constant and persistent force that pushes us all into the future together. And that’s the point. We are together. And we may all be scared, but we are together.
Think about that next time you speak with someone. They are, in some ways, in the same position you are. They are scared. They may have found hope in one way or the other, but “That’s the big secret. We’re all scared.”
-Dale out

On a slightly related note – read up on the story about “Keep Calm and Carry On” or just watch the video below.

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