I know. Cool, right?
Except it was my terror that made them do it. Memory is faulty, and I was very, very, very young, so I don't remember much about it. Here is what I can recall:
Sitting on someone's shoulders (my mind says my Grandpa's? But that seems crazy....So maybe an uncle?) as we walked from the elevator to the Doom Buggies, clutching at his forehead in horror as I sobbed, "Turn on the lights! Make them turn on the lights!" over and over and over again until suddenly the lights flickered on. I remember my Grandpa saying, "Looks like you're in luck." And I remember the relief. That's it. I don't know if we all left the Haunted Mansion or if it was just a parent and me.
Just terror, searching for something to ground me to reality (in this case the feel of skin beneath my fingertips), and then relief.
A few years later I made them stop Star Tours mid-ride. It was the same sort of thing, although this time just my mom and I left the ride, and I definitely recall that walk back to meet up with the rest of the family.
|We've all been there, guys. Don't deny it (Love you, Mama!)|
I'm not bragging at the power I apparently hold over Disney ride operators. (Not much, I mean.) No, my point is this: My fear is big, and loud, and demands to be heard.
Now, I have mixed feelings about fear. I mean, if you look over the history of our species, fear has been a good thing. Fear keeps you from stepping too close to the edge of a high cliff. Fear redirects your steps when you hear a roar from out in the darkness, assuredly saving you from ending up in the belly of some great beast.
Or, if you're a small girl with a vivid imagination...
|And impeccable fashion sense, clearly.|
...Who has against her better judgement entered a Haunted Mansion, been herded into a secret elevator and then told - essentially - the only way out is to follow the choice of a hanging skeleton...
...Been plunged into a darkness filled by screaming people...
...And then suddenly finds herself in a dark hallway with pictures that only prove the house is, indeed, haunted...
|It's waaaaay scarier with the lights out, folks.|
Well...Fear steps up to the plate. Fear reminds you there are GHOSTS INSIDE.
Fear is there to warn you when something may hurt you.
There are many who will tell you that fear is a liar. I disagree. I just think fear is really good at its job. Seriously, Employee of the Month, time after time after time. And let's be very real here - fear is good at its job because there is no way to be a human being and not be hurt.
|One of my favorite quotes from Welcome to Night Vale|
Fear is not the voice to be shut up and ignored! Fear is that friend who has your best interests at heart but just never quite hits the mark. You know the one. Maybe the Christmas gift is never right, but is given with a good spirit.
Maybe words are awkwardly phrased and the hug too tight/loose/long/whatever - but you can tell the intention is there.
Fear isn't out to get us, it's out to help us. So instead of ignoring its voice, we instead need to turn and face it and say, "I hear you, fear, and you're not in charge here."
That's it. It is as simple and as difficult as that.
So whether I'm walking the sinister hallway toward the Doom Buggies and am feeling that familiar lick of terror along my spine (every time, guys), or I'm finally telling people that yeah, my agent has put the pitch out to a few editors and some have asked to read the complete manuscript - fear doesn't get to keep me from doing something I know is good.
Remember that time I said guilt could hand me the roadmap but didn't get to come along for the ride? (No? Let's change that. Check it out here.) It's kind of like that, except that fear has a seat in the car. The backseat...and fear is an avid backseat driver.
|Ideally fear will be passed out, though...just sleeping the drive away.|
I just don't have to follow its direction.
|Another winner from WTNV|