My favorite author, Elizabeth Gilbert, told me in her recent book that my fear is the least interesting thing about me. I’ve taken the mantra to heart, whispering it to myself any time my social anxiety spikes, or saying something truthful feels scary, or taking a drive into New York City to have dinner with friends seems monumentally unsafe with the traffic and the violence and the public transportation I don’t understand, anymore…
I, of course, am weighing this mantra with my true fear– the kind that keeps me from burning my hand or falling off of cliffs.
But I am now tempted to also take it a step further– that my Have-Not’s are the second most least interesting thing about me. I am incredibly privileged. I don’t fear for my life when police officers are present. I am certain that if I was completely down-and-out on my luck, someone could step in to vouch for me or give me a lift until I get on my feet again. I’m not talking about the Have-Not’s that Have To be talked about. I’m talking about the Have Not’s that commandeer a conversation to a full plummet before someone more sane takes the controls again.
I am starting tomorrow, when I will wear my homemade Coyote costume and go Trick-or-Treating for the first time.
Sure, I won’t be able to sigh wistfully at the topic of Halloween and claim that I have never had the opportunity to celebrate it. I won’t be able to publicly mourn my lesser-than Satanic-panic upbringing as a point of interest.
But, I will be able to say something more interesting than “I have never…”
I’ll say, “I went Trick-or-Treating for the first time when I was 32.”
Plus, I’ll have lots of candy.