You Have Nothing to Fear … But Zombies
It’s not always sunny in Philadelphia, neither literally nor metaphorically.
The weather can be pretty miserable and you’re sure to run in a less-than-friendly head case now and again. I could name all the horrible things about the City of Brotherly Love, but this isn’t a travel guide and I’d just be fueling my unwarranted hatred for the place. The truth is, I haven’t been to Philly in nearly two years thanks to a quarter-life crisis I experienced there. I won’t go into the details, but needless to say, I know now that my hatred for the place is unfounded and rooted in fear.
Speaking of fear, have you seen “The Walking Dead,” AMC’s award-winning zombie drama series? If you haven’t, it tells the story of a ragtag band of strangers attempting to survive in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. I bring it up not only to gush about how awesomely gruesome it is, but to highlight an important element of the series: facing fear every day. Rick Grimes, sheriff and lead character of the series, goes out of his way numerous times to rescue others, find help, gather weapons, and so on. He puts himself at risk of his insides being ripped out every day in order to survive.
What scares the hell out of you? Clowns? Losing your job? There are a million things you could be afraid of. One member of my family is actually afraid of wind turbines. Really. When you think about it, does any of it compare to facing a horde of flesh-eating zombies? What’s worse, walking up to a girl you don’t know and attempting to strike up a conversation or taking down a pack of the undead with nothing but a pitchfork in hand?
Don’t let your fears get in the way of accomplishing your goals. They’ll do nothing but keep you from realizing your dreams. Feed into your fears and you’ll end up exactly where you don’t want to be. If you’re too afraid to go for a job because ten other guys with similar qualifications are applying, you just lost the opportunity for yourself. Can someone say “self-fulfilling prophecy”? Even if your fear is based in something real and dangerous, it’s up to you to face it. Take Jackie Robinson, the first black Major League Baseball player, for example. Robinson faced racial slurs from fans and players alike upon his entrance into the league. Facing very real and demanding pressures, he could have quit, but he kept playing and went on to be one of the greatest players the game has ever seen.
I don’t care if you’re the big man on campus, the life of the party, or a Hell’s Angel, you’re afraid of something and it’s keeping you from realizing your full potential. Face your fear, take down that metaphorical zombie horde that’s un-living in your head. Do whatever it takes to be all you can be, because living in fear isn’t really living at all. If you want to survive, you’ve got to grab that sawed-off shotgun that is your self-confidence and take down your fears with full force.
As for me, I’m driving down to Philadelphia this weekend for the first time in two years. It might still reek of urine and cheese steaks, but I’m going through with it and facing my fear. Should a zombie apocalypse go down while I’m there, I’ll know exactly what to do: aim for the head!
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About John Brhel John Brhel is a freelance writer from upstate New York that enjoys picking apart life's idiosyncrasies and listening to Huey Lewis & the News.