Shawnee Mission West's online student newspaper

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Shawnee Mission West's online student newspaper

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Tim’s Thoughts: Taking Hold of the Darkness

With Halloween passing once again, I found a different vibe with its approach. I was no longer scared. No longer worried. Someway, somehow I’m not afraid of the dark anymore.

Since I was a little kid I can remember being afraid to walk down into my basement, fearing that the darkness would be waiting for me behind the screen door. My basement leads to my backyard, so I always tried to not look into the pitch blackness that was concentrated behind the safety of the glass.

But I’m not afraid anymore.

A lot of things have come into play as I have separated myself from the eeriest element of human life. Since I was a little kid, I couldn’t be outside in the dark without going completely mad, because I couldn’t stand it. Heck, I couldn’t sit through an episode of Courage the Cowardly Dog without having to leave the room at least once. I just couldn’t stand the desolation, the fear of something that I’m not comfortable with. It was just too much for me.

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Eventually I started departing from this fear of all of the things that accompanied the darkness. Listening to scary music helped a lot. Let’s take Slipknot for example: nine dudes from Iowa that wear disgusting masks, who have created the ultimate metal trepidation. I used to be afraid of Slipknot, especially because of their demeaning appearance, but I realize something: there’s no reason to be afraid of them, they’re regular people just like the rest of us. So I started liking their music – it’s intimidating, thriving in emotion and angst.  I like the way that their music is like a horror show; it gives you chills. It jumps out at you. It’s cool.

I recently became obsessed with Halloween and the thrills that come with it also. Before, I used to stay away from things like this. In fact, I’ve cried numerous times before entering haunted houses in the past. But I realized there’s no reason to be afraid. It’s not real. It’s not meant to harm me. It’s trying to entertain me. So I went to a party the week before Halloween, and it was sensational. I loved everything about it. Most of all, I wasn’t afraid of everything anymore. It’s as if this fear just evaporated into thin air, and I just stood there looking at dummies in bodybags and fake zombies that were trying to attack me. It was as if being uncomfortable was the most comfortable to me.

Along with real-life unattachment, I’ve started ripping off the flesh of my fears with mass media. The TV show The Walking Dead has definitely been a major factor. It’s a show that has taken my biggest fears and put them on the big screen. That uncomfortable and uneasy feeling that I felt when I was young would be exhibited in solitude. But that’s not a bad thing. I’ve learned that it’s no longer part of my reality; it’s my imagination that’s taking hold of this fear and leaves me on the edge of my seat. And I can’t think of a more awesome feeling. It’s like a roller coaster ride. I may not quite be the guy that’s into horror movies and foals over the new Saw movie, but I can say that I’ve come a long way from when I had nightmares for a week over a Halloween special on Nickelodeon.

Part of the reason why I was so afraid of the dark was the fact that I confused what’s real and what’s not, and that left me believing in the things that make holidays like Halloween so scary. It’s supposed to give you chills. That’s why Halloween costumes and makeup are so realistic; it’s hard to be afraid when something isn’t frightening. And that’s the whole point of the holiday. It’s supposed to scare you obviously, but it’s not supposed to be taken literal. My mistake took me a long time to learn, but at least I finally understand. I’ve finally taken hold of the darkness, and the reality is, it’s not that bad after all.

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Tim’s Thoughts: Taking Hold of the Darkness