The other night while laying in bed and attempting to fall asleep, despite my obnoxiously loud dog, my mind began to wander. Earlier that day, I had read Nancy Mairs’s essay which I suppose is what made me think about being scared and think about how and why we have to handle it.
Everyone remembers the days when you were afraid of that monster under your bed. Or maybe it was the alien in your closet you were scared of. As you grow up your fears start to change. For example, in Nancy Mairs’s essay, she may have been frightened by her diagnosis of multiple sclerosis at first, but after years of self-consolation she embraced it and it became part of her own self. I believe everyone goes through that. When life throws a challenge or a fear your way, you have to stand up to it and it won’t be so scary anymore. When I was little, and was afraid of the monsters under the bed (mine was mister oogie boogie man from “Nightmare Before Christmas”), it always helped me to look under there before I went to sleep just to stand up to it and check for myself. If you don’t “check for yourself” or accept challenges, you’ll never grow as a person.
When you’re little, the creatures may be the scariest thing in your life. However, with age come greater fears: maybe work, homework, or taxes. By living and learning, you establish yourself or find your niche by living with them. Although we are very young, seventeen year olds, like myself, have lived long enough to have had enough experiences to figure out who you really are. Nancy Mairs might have thought she knew exactly who she was, but sometimes it takes something tragic to figure out your true qualities. Any other person may have found getting diagnosed with multiple sclerosis as a death sentence and lived the rest of their lives in shame and self pity. By fighting through her physical, and mental, instability and retaining her sense of humor, you see what kind of a person she really is. In life if you don’t confront and accept your fears you’ll just be stuck being afraid and you can not find yourself as easily.
Another essay we read this week was Huttman’s essay about her “crime of compassion”. Her argument in this essay was a very controversial topic. Her argument that we can decide for others to live but we can not decide for ourselves to die was interesting because I had never thought about it very much before. I do believe her point is true, though. I think it is extremely unfair and unnecessary for someone to stay alive and in excruciating pain if they do not wish to. Why would, or should, someone want to stay alive if only by machines? Mairs also addresses this topic in her essay when she says that “Future Nancy” will not be hooked up to tubes to survive.