If you know me or regularly follow these blogs, you’ll know one universal truth: I am phobia-level afraid of bees. It’s an unjustifiable fear in some regards. I’ve been stung countless times and have had many exposures to them due to a childhood experienced outdoors, but regardless anytime I see a bee, I freak out. I have yet to figure out what bothers me about it. Bee stings hurt far less than other illnesses or injuries I’ve experienced and I am not allergic, yet something about being stung is absolutely horrifying to me.
This is my last semester of college and, as many of you know, I am living in an old Victorian house converted to residence hall of sorts. Last Tuesday, after hours of hectic rushing between classes, meetings, and obligations, I shuffled back to my room, eager to set up fort at my desk and crank out some homework.
I was in my room no more than a few moments when I heard the buzzing and watched two black wasps swarming my low-ceiling contained light fixture. I was out. I bolted from the room and slowly went back (after I realized sudden movements weren’t ideal) and packed up my homework, chargers, and electronic devices. I was out.
For the majority of last week, I avoided my room, doing homework in the campus center, sleeping over with friends, and coming back in the morning to shower before repeating the process.
Then, on Saturday, I participated in a Heart Walk on campus. As the walk began and I walked side by side with my friend, I instantly felt a sharp pain in my leg and I stumbled for a second with the sting…the literal sting.
We veered to the side and I was able to look at the pink puffy ring on my calf. I had just been stung by a bee. It hurt…a lot. But at the same time, it was almost just “the concept of the thing” that was the most frustrating because “there has to be a metaphor in there somewhere.”
Well, after a couple days of reflection and a very itchy and red leg later, I figured it out:
I am afraid of wasps.
There were wasps in the building I live in, the building I love and cherish.
Therefore, I was afraid to be in said building because I didn’t want to get hurt.
There are bees outside all around me every day.
In one single moment on Saturday morning, as I participated in a charity walk, I was stung.
I allowed myself to stay away from something I love (my house) because of fear (of bees), when in reality, I could get stung any second by pain or hurt or suffering and to continue to live my life in a way that is overly cautious is to do nothing but keep myself from people, places, things, and experiences that I cherish.
Today is the day for boldness.
-In other news, I apologize for the bad pun.