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Hello Fear, Please Stay Awhile

If I had to think up one thing that has been the most consistent in my whole life, from my earliest memories until now, it has been fear. I have always been abnormally afraid of everything. I’ve already written on this topic so I won’t go too far in explaining, but let’s just say, it has always hindered my life. From being a child who woke her sister up in the middle of the night to get a glass of water because I was too scared to go alone, to being a grown adult who still turns every light on in the house just to feel safe, I have never been less scared, which is something I always imagined would happen.

Speaking of the word imagine, that is exactly what I want to talk about in relation to fear. How imagination is so often the guiding force behind fear. If you have an overactive imagination, you know what I mean. If you are afraid of a lot of things, especially without reason, try thinking of yourself as being very creative.

I watched a scary movie last night. I was afraid all night. I woke up several times afraid. I kept turning lights on, turning the TV on, anything I could do to make the fear subside. And then, the strangest thing happened. Morning came, and I was in my bathroom getting ready for the day. Most days I go to my bathtub and pull back the curtain, just to be extra sure there is nothing hiding in my shower. But this morning, I didn’t feel that urge. How strange, I thought, since I had been so scared the night before. How strange that this morning, of all mornings, I did not feel that urge.

My first reaction was that of shock, considering in all my 26 years on this planet I have never once not been scared. It is engrained in me. I felt happiness second, at the idea that I am finally getting rid of my fear. Yet the third feeling that I thought, all of this within a matter of seconds, was sadness. Sadness at the idea that my imagination had gotten dimmer, that the light that is my imagination was suddenly going out.

Fear is such an interesting thing. It takes a big imagination to let it haunt you, and I believe that imagination is one of the most important things a person can have. By losing part of my fear, I felt that I had lost a part of my imagination. However, minutes later, after pondering this, I realized something even bigger: I had a choice to make. I could let my imagination walk away with my fears and finally be the “grown up” I always thought I would transform into. Or, I could use my imagination in an even better way. I could use my imagination to transform the fear into something more tangible, exciting, and fulfilling.

How strange, that my whole life I have wanted to be rid of my fears, and when the time has finally come, I find myself mourning them. Suddenly I no longer want to be fearless, I simply want to be fearful in a more productive way. I want to use my fears as the catalyst for imagination, and turn my fears into something more personally fulfilling.

I believe that fear can cripple and harm a person if it is left unattended. However, fear that is faced, fear that is examined and understood and acknowledged, can be something that allows people to change, grow, and imagine. I love dealing with my own fears. It is something that I find to be terrifying, fulfilling, exhilerating, and magical. I can only hope to explore more fears as I grow older. And with my imagination at full force, I will continue to capture my fears in photographic form.

These are several pictures from my series titled “Fears & Fairytales” that I have created in response to fears that both I have, and that many people suffer from.



{ 8 } Comments

  1. Emily Jane | August 9, 2013 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Incredible, incredible images!!

  2. Liat | August 9, 2013 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Brooke, I’m giving you a big hug right now. I love what you wrote, and how eloquently put it is. Lots of love to you and your big imagination.

    xoxo from Toronto

  3. T | August 9, 2013 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    This is SO me, and so many of my photos have my fears in them..just not as beautifully as you do it. Thank you for putting such a positive spin on it.

    (ps…the shot of you above the big hole freaks me out so much I cant even view it)

  4. Jeff McKeown | August 9, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Very well written. Your twitter asked to share our fears. Mine is an irrational one with no basis in current reality. But, it’s one of my kids dying or severally injured looking to me for comfort and telling them it’s going to be ok when I know it’s not. I’m thankful that isn’t my reality, but it’s one of the few things I fear. I don’t have many.

  5. Annelies Schokker | August 9, 2013 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    I’m a sculptor. healthy, almost without your fears but intense your feelings reflected in your photos coprehencion. I love your work and it inspires me to make my stone sculptures and my poems. You are in my soul!!

  6. Natascha van Niekerk | August 10, 2013 at 2:47 am | Permalink

    Brooke, I cannot begin to tell you how much your work and your blog posts inspire me and help me on my way in my own journey. Thank you for sharing yourself with your online community! Someday, I hope you come to Cape Town!

  7. bely | August 10, 2013 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    you’re just the best, how could you do these images?

  8. Elwen | September 28, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Oh my. I also have fears a lot because i have a really big imagination going on in my head. I fear being alone in the darkness, thinking something gonna crowl out under my bed. Even in the age of 19. Never thought of it that way. I guess it is the price to pay for have a big imagination. I really like your photography and i hope i will be able to capture my own fears and fantasy in such a majestic way like you do.
    Thanks for this wonderful words you put up there.

    Wish you the best !

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