I don’t think I give myself enough credit sometimes. In the past year, I’ve done a lot of things that are new and many things that are scary in some way. I’ve:
- started dating someone from another country
- moved to another country (if temporarily)
- started a new job teatching children
- returned to an airport in which I was held against my will for 24 hours
Honestly, many of those things were difficult, scary, and challenging. Yet I am still afraid in many ways.
I fear looking stupid in front of my pupils. Children can be cruel, and they often are. Just today, they made fun of my accent and another teacher’s current state of baldness, which I am guessing is a result of some medical condition. What did I do? I refused to speak any more Spanish because I thought perhaps they would continue to make fun of me. I don’t know why it matters so much, but I don’t like feeling foolish. They put me on the defensive.
In the grand scheme of things, these students making fun of my accents matters very little. I don’t know why I am more afraid of sounding silly than moving to another country, but I am. Our fears are often irrational, trite, proportionally warped. We fear things like tripping on the staircase in front of that cute boy, but don’t think twice about talking on the cell phone while driving.
I remember reading once that the #1 fear of people was public speaking. Really? You fear that more than death? sickness? I guess so. We’re quite a funny species at times, aren’t we?