Now we’ve all heard the horror stories; friend stepped on a wasp nest and her foot was out of commission for over 2 weeks, dad ate a chip with a bee on it and it stung his tongue, man tries to have sex with a wasps nest and dies from substantial stings (maybe you haven’t heard that one – it’s gross) and finally, AFRICANIZED BEES that swarm and kill you, and even worse, your pets that you were unable to save (damn you Discovery Channel).
I’ve heard the horror stories, but what’s worse than the horror stories, is the fear. A bee has never stung me, but I will be the first person to run into oncoming traffic to avoid being in the same vicinity as one. Me avoiding the bee sting is more of an effort (and more dangerous) than actually being stung.
Now I don’t believe it’s a coincidence that the motherly way to talk about sex involves a bee, cause lone and behold, one day you WILL get stung, despite your best efforts. Whether that sting means you were pricked by cupid’s arrow, or that you were mentally scarred from a swarm of unknown deceit.
The funny thing is that the fear of having your heart broken can keep you from living life, and experiencing it, to a degree you’re supposed to. For example: When everyone is sitting on the patio enjoying their fruity drinks during the summer, I’m sat there mapping out an escape route if a bee gets attracted to our liquor filled nectar. My parents even stopped asking me to sit outside with them during the summer months because of the display that would come if my ‘fear’ approached. The display usually involved 3 steps; an announcement of defeat (something like, ‘You win bee! Have my drink’), throwing my napkin down (kinda like throwing in the white flag), and running for the nearest entry.
The same can be said about love. I try my best to avoid it. You’ve heard the horror stories: friend get’s blindsided and dumped after 3 blissful years, friend falls in love and you never see them again, friend gets cheated on time after time and never knows (or doesn’t want to know). These horror stories aren’t my reality… in fact they are just that, horror stories. And yet I use them to fuel my fear. To avoid my fear of falling in love and getting ‘stung’, I make a bigger scene about not falling in love, than it would be TO fall in love. I date someone for 2,3 or 4 months, it starts to get serious, my fear is in the vicinity, and I do the 3 steps of avoidance; I announce defeat (‘This isn’t working anymore’), throw down the white flag (Here’s your stuff), and head for the nearest exit (never visiting their neighborhood again). But it’s come to my attention that the display, and ongoing avoidance, is more of an effort than allowing myself to fall in love. I might get stung, but maybe once I’ve been stung, I’ll realize it was worth it.
It was worth spending those few blissful months, years, with the person that enhanced my life. It was worth taking that extra sip of margarita before that bee stung my hand.
I guess if you let your avoidance of your fear, become a heavier burden than the actual thing you’re scared of, you technically aren’t living life, you’re spending your life avoiding it.
So go out there and get stung. Slow down (say hi to a someone you like) and smell the flowers (even if a bee lingers by).
PS. Enjoy Canada long weekend - get stung!