Write Me Your Fears and Loves, She Commanded


So said the email from my friend Trout. She advised me that if I didn’t send her a list of some of my fears and loves within 40 days, my left nut would fall off and I’d be pretty sorry about it, so I should strongly consider doing as she asked.

If you know Trout, you know her sense of humour. I laughed and then sat down to write out what I’d been tasked to do.

See, Trout thoroughly enjoys a podcast called The Mental Illness Happy Hour. As Trout wrote to me, “At the end of the show, the host and the guest have a fear off. They shoot fears back and forth in a list. Then they do a love list. Today I wrote mine. And I’m sending the list to you.”

What I discovered was that fears were far easier to list than loves, and that I’m completely uncomfortable publishing my fears here because it means I’m acknowledging my insecurities. But hey, the more we grow!

The first five FEARS that came to my mind on November 21, 2013:

  • I fear spending the rest of my life alone; of being that crumpled old woman shuffling to the grocery store for a can of tuna and white bread, full of sadness for the smattering of meaningful lovers throughout her years who didn’t have the fortitude to stick around and share their lives together.
  • I fear falling on slippery surfaces. The memories of losing my footing—the crunch of bones and tear of tendons in my feet and ankles—can paralyze me upon encountering a slippery surface.
  • I fear being bitten by a spider. When a spider bites me, the area around the spider bite swells to the size of a large, rotten fruit—soft and squishy on the inside, mottled and swollen on the outside.
  • I fear being the butt of a private joke—the subject of an unkind eye roll and quiet snicker.
  • I fear being swallowed whole in wide open water where I can’t see the bottom. The sensation of being prowled upon by forces I cannot see is overwhelming.

The first five LOVES that came to my mind on November 21, 2013:

  • I love the contented sigh dogs make once they’ve turned around three times and settled into their invisible nests on the carpet. I want to capture that sound in a bottle and hold it to my ear like one does when they listen to the ocean inside a shell.
  • I love babies’ laughter. It sounds like true freedom; freedom from everything that ails the world.
  • I love the satisfaction I feel upon opening my pantry during the cold, winter months and seeing the fruits and vegetables of my labour all lined up neatly in mason jars.
  • I love the quiet of 4am in the city. Sometimes it’s only a brief moment between people going to bed and people waking up. That moment of pure quiet is magical.
  • I love the smell of wood smoke in the air. It awakens something primal inside me and I start thinking about steak, done rare, on the grill.

What do you fear? What do you love?