22 March 2010

Conquering fear, and how

Today I conquered one of my very irrational fears, and I feel rather delighted with myself.

Come to think of it, are fears ever rational? Hmm, I suppose if everyone fears something, it might be...um...fear-worthy. Mine aren't. But isn't it the BEST feeling ever, knowing that something you ran away from for so long turned out to be rather harmless after all?

Consider, for instance, this time in my life when I was inexplicably afraid of escalators. It started with suspicion (stairs that moved of their own accord, hello?) and got worked up into a paranoia of being swallowed into an unknown realm if the foot didn't leave on time. So I'd just take the stairs or elevator. Now, mom would probably indulge my fear (being terrified of them herself) but dad can never control himself from passing a snide remark when I display, what is according to him, immense stupidity. Knowing that I was desperate to go and study in the US and would do anything for it, he said I could never go abroad if I was afraid of something as routine as an escalator. Where this logic came from I never paused to think, for the next second I was escalating to glory and have never hesitated since. There's a chapter closed.

Our house has a cockroach infestation. There was this time when I was oh-so-afraid of cockroaches. Oh but wait, I still totally am. Though I have no problem now stamping them (well, the small ones) dead. With elan.

And then there was this unforgettable time when I fainted in bio lab when we had to make a slide of our own blood. Wow, no wonder I'm called Bella. But, in my defense, I'm only averagely afraid of blood and needles. See, it all started with the teacher giving us a demonstration of how to do it, and her finger refused to stop bleeding after that and kept issuing copious amounts of blood onto a tissue. That was unsettling and few people looked green. But the real irony is that I was going about like a little twit telling everyone not to be afraid because it was "just a drop of blood, for Chrissake". I was not so comfortable when the whole lab started smelling like a hospital and this guy who's all hale and hearty freaked out and made the teacher stick the needle into his finger because he was too scared to. Bravely, I attempted on my own finger, which for some reason must have decided it wasn't going to give up any blood at all; and, stab at it as I might, not a single drop came out. That was embarrassing. I decided to ask the deadly teacher for help, vividly visualising her wounding my finger. And then...well, I just passed out. That was even more embarrassing.

It took me forever to realize that just because I had been so afraid I actually fainted didn't mean I couldn't overcome that fear. The thing is, I didn't have forever. I had only until my biology pre-board. My teacher reckoned I could borrow blood (ew) but I was determined to not let a silly thing like my own finger get the better of me. And, drawing a deep breath, I succeeded. Oh boy, was the world a sunny place again. Not only did I get the top mark for that slide, but I also noticed that SO many other people were dead-scared of doing it (where on earth had they been before?) and I couldn't help smirking inside. Sadistic, I know. But what the hell.

Anyhoo. I shall try to be more regular here from now on - I mean, what better time to blog than during the countdown to the exams, eh? 

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