A list of silly things that scare me

The world is a scary scary place, and I don’t think anyone needs a reminder of that on this beautiful Tuesday afternoon. After spending a good part of last night frozen on my bed convinced that death was waiting for me around the corner, I assure you I don’t. However, sometimes the thing that scares us is not as big as death, the pain of a loved one or even failing an exam. Sometimes it’s as small and ridiculous as drains or bread crumbs (yes, breadcrumbs. I won’t point fingers, but I have heard it before). So I thought today we could all sit and laugh at the silly things that scare me, and afterwards we can discuss how badly you think I need therapy.

The pictures are from Jonathan Messe’s exhibition in the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich. I thought his art went well with this subject.

  • People (men) correcting me at the Gym.

So I go to the gym around 3 times a week. I have my little routine: treadmill, machines, stretching… you know the drill. Usually I enjoy it as much as one can enjoy being sweaty and in pain for an hour straight, but the one thing that sends shivers down my spine, and triggers anxiety like no other, is the idea of someone (typically a man) coming up to me to show me that “actually if you pull your shoulders closer together you will get better results”.

In all honesty, I would rather get injured than have this interaction right about now. I nod and awkwardly smile while I try to get the movement right as soon as possible so the man goes away and leaves me alone, and for the rest of my workout I am painfully self-conscious of my every movement, in fear that the helpful gentleman will come up to me again with further pieces of advice. I get it, he is only trying to help, and there is no one to blame than myself for my discomfort, but please. Do. Not. Talk. To. Me.

  • Children thinking I am not cool

There’s something about kids, and how they don’t follow social norms, that is kind of terrifying. I am fine with adults not liking me because I know they will act politely no matter what, what they say behind my backs doesn’t really affect me. But when a child openly rejects me, I genuinely don’t know what to do. It’s not like you can get into an argument with a kid, so you have to pretend like you don’t care, while deep down you wonder “Am I really not cool?”

  • German in any shape of form

German is my third language, and one that I used to think I was ok at. I can understand 80% of the conversations around me, and can communicate pretty fluently, although making quite a few mistakes. However, since I live in Germany, and the people I talk to are not German teachers, or other people learning the language like me, but actual Germans with perfect German, things have changed. I am now constantly horrified that someone will talk to me on the metro, or ask for directions, and I will reply and sound like an idiot, or worse, not even understand them in the first place. It’s fun to live in Munich.

  • Hair dressers who “immediately” understand what you are saying.

Let me demonstrate:

Hairdresser: Sow what are we doing today?
Me: I would like to add some layers…
Hairdresser: Ah! Perfect! (Grabs her scissors)
Me: Like long layers, you know?
Hairdresser: Sure dear, sure.
Me: I actually brought a picture… (hairdresser starts cutting)
Hairdresser: Of course! Let’s see it (proceeds to give me a bob)

There you go, that’s a short list of silly things that scare me, to distract myself from the real, big things that scare me. You can of course also include the typical: spiders, parallel parking, having leftover wax on my top lip, weird noises at night… Hopefully you can find comfort in the fact that I am not so brave, and feel a bit braver yourself.