Things that Are Actually Scary

Ghosts, vampires, zombies, witches–sure, those things are all sort of scary. But do you know what things are actually scary, especially to this Worrier? Well, I hope you want to know, because I’m about to tell you.

Asking yourself where you want to be / what you want to be doing in 5 years.

The only thing scarier than asking yourself this question is being asked it by someone else. And o.k., this one might be especially potent to me on account of the fact that I am currently at a transitional point in my life, which means that looking 5 years into the future is like going into a haunted house that locks from the outside and contains Freddy, Jason, and Michael Meyers. But still–the future is scary, especially on account of…

Global warming and climate change.

A world without polar bears and arctic hares is not a world I want to live in. In addition to coastal areas being flooded if/when the polar icecaps melt, the melting of sea ice will also flood warmer waters with all the toxins and pollutants that have ended up concentrated in the Arctic.


Ursus maritimus Polar bear with cub 2” by Schliebe, Scott

How scared other people are of Millennials.

Is anything scarier than when your uncle starts talking about how kids these days are ruining the world? And you just want to be like, Yeah, people born in the ’90s text a lot, but remember when were you protesting the Vietnam War and doing LSD and your parents thought you were a lost cause, but now you’re a wealthy investment banker anyways? Huh? But you can’t, because like, respecting your elders and shit. (Also, you want to stay in his will.)

The magnitude of the universe.

Seriously. The scale of the universe is insane. If you want to feel tiny and insignificant, just remember that all the humans on earth could fit into a 1.204 cubic kilometer building (if no attention was given to comfort…or, you know, breathing), and that the earth itself has a volume of 1,083,210,000,000 cubic kilometers (about a trillion times the size of that building). But wait! The earth is puny in comparison to the sun, which is 1.3 million times the volume of the earth. And then you should keep in mind that our sun has nothing on the distant star VY Canis Majoris.
To mind-boggling scale:
Sun and VY Canis Majoris

We’re all just tiny grains of sand on the beach of the universe!

The inevitability of death.

Sorry, too dark? Alrighty, we’ll leave it that then.

The presidential primaries.

Whether the idea of Donald Trump being the nation’s next president is the most horrifying thing you can imagine, or you just want to wipe the image of Chafee explaining Glass-Steagall from your mind, I think we can all agree that politics right now makes us want to run away from all other humans and crawl into a hole and never leave. (Maybe all of those apocalypse preppers are onto something?)

That one time you saw a girl wearing Birkenstocks with socks and thought to yourself, “That kind of works.”

I KNOW. She just looked really confident and was rocking those ‘stocks and socks, OKAY?!

The fact that words and numbers are inherently meaningless.

I’m just hitting buttons that make little symbols on the screen, and you’re just looking at those symbols with your eyes and your brain-thing is firing off signals telling you that there is an idea being communicated. But this only works because, thousands of years ago, someone first wrote a symbol and decided that it stood for something. And even before that, someone made a sound with their mouth and decided that it had a specific meaning.

And don’t even get me started on numbers, man. Those things are just lies we tell ourselves.

FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

I mean, it has “fear” in the name. When you’re at your Halloween party, dressed up as Margaret Thatcher, and you check your phone and see on Facebook that there’s this way cooler party you could have gone to and that your crush is there, and he’s in a picture with a girl in a sexy cat (or mouse or bunny or raccoon) costume–that’s way scarier than any horror movie.

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What are you most afraid of?

Also, what are you being for Halloween? I need to steal your ideas.

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