I’ve been feeling down for the past few months — a bit worse than usual. I just capped off a month of first dates, a holiday visit  home that contained good times with friends and family but a tumultuous encounter with my dad (those father issues I joke about are more on the nose than I let on), and my birthday. I hoped that I could power through and find something to bring my emotional state back on the upswing.

They were all reminders that for every step of progress I hope to take, my past and my fears root me to the ground, afraid of a future that would see me confined to a life and place I want to escape. Today was a good example.

My emotional state as of late, personified by actor Christian Bale.

I went to the mall to return a sweatshirt I bought the day before, a purchase I attributed to a whim to replace something a bit too small. I entered the store and caught the eye of an employee, ready to get my transaction over and done with. Said employee was a cute girl with a sparkle in her eye, friendly and talkative. She asked me if I was on Spring Break. I dreaded where this would go.

I explained that I had no Spring Break due to being in the working world, and I asked her if she was on her break (she was — no surprise). A problem with the return brought a manager to the cashier, a welcome gap in the proceedings. More small talk followed and led to my plans for the weekend. Wary, I ran down my mundane list — laundry, cleaning and relaxing. She then laid it out on the line: she was working today and tomorrow, but would get off at 3 the following day.

The bait. Would I take it, or would I swim past?

I replied that it would be great for her to have a relaxing rest of the weekend. I said my thanks, to which she replied “see ya.” I walked out of the store, let the door close and breathed a sigh of relief.

This was a reminder of one of my many irrational fears, manifested in the encounter with a girl that looked and seemed way too young for me. Now in my 30s, I am well aware of guys in my age group dating and sexing girls young enough to be their daughters resulting from junior-high pregnancies. And I’ve been acutely alert to the majority of overt female flirting coming my way from girls college-age and younger — most likely due to their lack of inhibitions. (To be fair, I’m mostly clueless about being hit on or being flirted with.)

The idea of being hottie-bait to young ladies, though an ego stroke, is not productive to me. I personally want a relationship with someone closer to my age, and these encounters only remind me of what I really want. And I worry that this will be it for me for the next few years until I can pass for an adult.

I'm sure "The Situation" knows about sex with young girls.

In thinking about this apprehension, I thought it would be productive — or at least entertaining to you “folks” (hey, Natalie!) — to write out my other senseless fears. Maybe something good will come with seeing these absurdities in HTML:

  • I fear being trapped in a job I don’t like

It’s fair to say that most people tolerate their jobs and employers, a sobering reminder that growing up is not a guarantee of fireman dreams and astronaut wishes. While my job and company are the best I’ve had in my life, I’m always aware that those feelings can change. I don’t want to get to the point where I feel like Charlie Sheen’s former publicist, eying the door during the beginning of the meltdown.

  • I fear my fragility

I’ve always been a sensitive guy. Until high school, I outwardly showed my feelings — good and bad. For example, my horrific junior high experience included torment from a kid in my gym class that was shorter and skinnier than me, and he used an unknown encounter at a movie theater — being spied on as I hid my eyes during a painful part of the movie Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story — to try and humiliate me.

This and other, similarly tragic events, led me to internalize my emotions. More teasing, hurt and anger followed me, and I stuffed it down for it to erupt at rare intervals — a warning that hey, I was affected by things. While I’m conscious of this part of me, I continue to live life, and things like unrequited love, job disappointments and ignored messages induce those anxieties. Maybe there will be a time where those emotions are more positive than negative.

  • I fear being confined to Phoenix

Friends and family won’t be surprised by this, but I am not a fan of Phoenix or Arizona. Sure, the 5 months of the year that don’t feel like Satan’s backyard outside are pleasant (wearing t-shirts in February is pretty nice), but the one-two combination of face-frying heat and open hate (racism, homosexuality, religion) dulls the shine of the Grand Canyon State. Add to that the real estate market simulating a free-fall from a space shuttle, and I equate present life to being the TMZ writer that dreamed of working for the NewYork Times.

* * *

The good thing about fears is that they can be overcome. As easily as life changes on a whim, so could a fresh set of circumstances that put a favorable spin on my perspective of things. Good lord, I hope something positive happens.


2 thoughts on “Fears

  1. I know this may be easier said then done, but you must keep positive or the world around you will just stink.

    As for that gal at the Gap I totally think she was flirting telling you exactly what time she gets off 😉

    Here is my two cents it’s not uncommon to have a bad week or a bad day or have family issues that’s normal trust me 😉 I have those moments myself. What is bad is not having something to strive for and being positive about it. For example when I was single I had two plans one for being single the other for being married. I think my single plan was to help keep my mind at rest. I also ways knew in my heart id want to be married and I know you do too.

    In conclusion I think your a really fun guy your just having a down time right now just keep focused on the good that you have and the good that you want and things will just naturally fall in to place. Also it’s okay to have a bad day or something go wrong its our job to dust ourselves off and be greatful we get a second chance the next day. Keep your chin up Trevor I have a feeling you’ll be okay 🙂


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