A lab for young creators to showcase their passion and develop their voice

My Worst Fear Is Not What You'd Expect

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Fear is defined as an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat, but to me, "fear" means living in secret. It means swallowing what you really have to say because you know people won't understand. It means pretending to love someone you don't in order to fit in. It means standing by, watching everyone else pass but never throwing yourself into the race. And for a long time, I merely walked through life, never fully enjoying anything and resenting everything. It took me a very, very long time to come to terms with myself, and in turn, it ended up costing me more than I bargained for.

When I was 6, I feared the dark, at age 10, the monster in my closet and at 13, nothing was scarier than the idea of high school. But here I am now, less than two months away from turning 18, and my biggest fear in life is not getting into college, the future or leaving home in a few months, it's being gay.

Even now in the year 2015, the label "gay" comes with one too many strings attached. The stereotypes that come with such a label, in my eyes, are not worth it. It's not worth coming out and telling people how I really feel. And I fear that I will always live in fear of what people will say. As much as I wish I didn't care about other people's opinions, that would be a lie, because most of my life revolves around what other people think about me.

Do college admission officers like me? Will they allow me into the school of my dreams or will I never become anything in life because someone decided they didn't like me? Will my friends accept me? Will my mom judge me? Will the cute girl on the soccer team FINALLY realize she makes my heart race and palms sweaty? So many of these unanswered question can only be answered by other people, but I'm afraid they'll never find the time to respond them. As silly as it sounds, I guess I'd rather not be me than be me and have to explain my feelings to everyone who doesn't understand them.

I'm not afraid of being gay or of being different. I'm afraid I will never find the courage to tell others that I AM comfortable with being myself and that, yes, even if their opinions do matter, they don't determine anything. One day I won't feel the need to keep my emotions under wraps, and instead I'll finally say hello to the cute girl a year below me and tell my mother that I'm not going to prom with a boy. But for now, all I can say is that one day I promise myself that I will be genuinely happy. It might not happen tomorrow, or next month, but it will happen.
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