Thursday, 1 April 2010

Afeared


A really cool thing that's coming out of my "exercise every day" routine is that I'm becoming less afraid.

Specifically, less afraid of walking by myself in the dark.

Especially back in January before the days were longer and before the time change (I still shake my fist at you time change!) by the time I was home from work it'd be dark.

And I, historically, haven't gone out in the dark by myself. I've always thought that there were boogymen in the dark. Boogymen and rapists and crazy drunk thieves waiting to take advantage of the dumb single girl who was naive enough to walk outside by herself after dark and then of course no one would know I'd been killed because no one would know I'd gone for a walk and who'd end up having to call my parents to inform them because I hadn't even taken I.D. so how would they know it's me panic panic panic!

Sigh. I've obviously seen too many movies.

So at first, I was nervous, but I told myself I'd walk fast, I'd have my cell phone, I'd keep my eyes and ears open, and I'd do the shortest route possible in order to get home right away.

After a few evening walks, I realized that I wasn't really running into that many people and those I did were out with their dogs our with someone else for a stroll. And I realized that the sidewalks were all well lit and were I to scream, someone was always near enough to hear me.

And I started to feel safer.

I've discovered a few things that help me feel better about walking in the evenings. I never bring my music because I feel better if I can hear. I always ALWAYS wear my glasses. That way I can see perfectly and can hear perfectly. You'd have to be a pretty sneaky thief for me to not see and hear you coming, which was quite a revelation to me. I guess I'd always felt that if I went outside in the dark I'd be lost and without the aid of my five senses and therefore completely helpless and vulnerable.

I've also re-discovered just how wonderful things smell at dusk.

I was out for a walk the other night and I could smell all the flowers and trees and blossoms and blooms. It reminded me very distinctly of being a kid, playing outside in the evenings and how wonderful that smell is.

Oh, and not only do I now walk in the dark, but I've also discovered that I don't melt if I go out in the rain.

I mean, I've always known this. You can't *not* know this growing up in the Pacific Northwest, but I no longer use "Oh, it's raining" as a reason to not go out for a walk. You'd be surprised how many people are out there doing it too.

It's nice to know that I can do things I used to be afraid of. It's really nice to know that I can grow and change and become better and stronger. I'm proud of myself even though it doesn't seem like a particularly big deal.

I kind of feel like it is.

5 Comments:

Blogger Ray said...

That is a good, healthy attitude to have. The media would have us believe that everyone we see is a murderer/mugger/rapist/whatever and the reality is that there are fewer than there seems to be. Well done on overcoming your fear.

Anyway, as we all know, the danger lies in your dreams

:)

Thursday, April 01, 2010 11:18:00 am  
Blogger Ms Behaviour said...

I LOVE walking in the rain! Something that helps me walk in the dark is to phone a friend. If it's a short walk, I usually call someone just for a quick chat and tell them I'm walking home and ask if they would mind walking with me. Boys are especially happy to talk knowing that the length of the conversation is finite ;)

Thursday, April 01, 2010 2:22:00 pm  
Blogger dilling said...

the rain thing> i've never encountered. some of my best walks have been in the rain...and, actually one of my most favorite memories of all time is walking in the rain...with my best friend, in a downpour so hard it might have beaten us to the ground if we hadn't been so buoyant at the moment...
i also walk alone, in the early mornings usually, but sometimes in the dusk and after dark...but? i am always aware of things that could happen, even on an active street, from experience...be careful. be aware. don't be paranoid, but be careful. and? if anything feels too weird? don't walk on the sidewalk...walk in the middle of the road(provided you don't live on a highway). you are in direct sight of people on both sides...
nanaimo is smaller that victoria, but the problems remain the same

Thursday, April 01, 2010 3:22:00 pm  
Blogger Stephanie Hunter said...

I think that it is a big deal and you should be proud of yourself for facing this fear.
Actually, six years ago today I moved out and started to live on my own. At first I was terrified. I would leave lights on even when I was sleeping. I had to have noise all around me. Now, six years later, I love the quiet, dark, me time. I am not constantly checking the bathtub for strangers who might have decided to break in (and shower? Yes, I really would check the bathtub every time I got home)
So today, I'm celebrating this big deal in my life, and I'll celebrate with you!

Thursday, April 01, 2010 6:22:00 pm  
Blogger Victoria said...

Thanks Ray. Except now I'm afraid to dream tonight! ;)

Ms B, that's a good idea, to talk to someone :)


Dilling, sounds like you've got an awesome rain walk memory :) And, yes, I promise to always be aware and careful, for sure.

Thanks Stephanie, and yay for us both celebrating! :D

Thursday, April 01, 2010 11:41:00 pm  

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