Ultimately all human life is fragile, but the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis show us that the lives of black boys can be disproportionately ephemeral.
breast reduction
Think of all the opportunities that you have passed over because you were scared -- think of all the times your fear has kept these opportunities from even coming your way. What have you lost?
lotus birth
Other animals chew the cord off shortly after birth, but as a vegan, this option did not appeal to me.
I hope that someday, all the Slutwalks and Take Back the Nights will add up and we will all be able to do what Sylvia Plath dreamed of: “to be able to sleep in an open field, to travel west” and, most importantly, “to walk freely at night…”
music festivals
I suffer from claustrophobia and history of an array of anxiety disorders, even typing about being caught in some sort of mosh pit is making me anxious.
The rule is when the teenybopper grocery clerk or the yoga pants and Starbucks-sipping moms at playgroup ask how you are, they do not want you to say anything but “Fine” “Great” or “I’m good.”
When did we stop seeing the future president, or the next great American novelist, or the person that will cure cancer when we looked at a classroom? And instead saw the next suicide, the next drug deal, the next Sandy Hook?
Instead of allowing life to happen to me, instead of sitting by powerlessly as things took a turn for the worst, I took the reigns and faced misfortune head on.

May 22, 2013 at 5:00pm | 196 comments

I’ve thought a lot about fear in the last 12 hours after hearing the news that Annette Funicello died due to complications with multiple sclerosis.

Apr 10, 2013 at 4:30pm | 16 comments

I'm jumpy around passing cars and men on the street. I fall asleep with a low voice telling me not to scream ringing in my ears.
public speaking
I was one of those girls who mostly sat at the back and spoke when I was coaxed into speaking.

Feb 12, 2013 at 12:00pm | 25 comments

Someone jumped out at me from behind a scary dark corner and I screamed like somebody's business -- and then when I realized I wasn't going to die, I reflected on life.

Feb 12, 2013 at 9:00am | 71 comments

Although the circumstances are very different, I have been feeling exactly like that trapped little girl with blood on her spelling test and fear of the unknowns in her heart.
domestic abuse
Once, my mom spotted a bruised woman with three children holding a cardboard sign in the Wal-Mart parking lot. It was pouring down rain. I was seven. “Stay in the car,” she said, locking me in.
childhood fears
Flushing the toilet at night? Return to Oz? Thriller? FERNGULLY? These are just a few of the xoJane editors' childhood fears and why I love all the weirdos I work with.
It took me a really long time to wear heels after 9/11 because I was scared. Now I just don't wear them because I'm lazy.
I've never actually been attacked, only had close calls, felt really afraid, uncomfortable. Still, each time I run, frightening fantasies tend to run along with me.
When my PCP first sent me to the hospital for abdominal X-rays four years ago, the radiologist wanted to know what kinds of symptoms I’d been experiencing. “I don’t have an appetite,” I told her. “I wish I had that problem,” she responded.

Jul 23, 2012 at 11:00am | 91 comments

I took to writing stories about vengeance, about stabbing my friends with whatever was near to hand; pencils in the classroom, sporks in the cafeteria, a ruler in the hallway while classes were changing. I walked around with vivid images in my head of tearing those girls' faces off.
balloon animals
I'll wait while you laugh at me. Go on, I'm used to it at this point.
The most notable emotion that African travel conjures up for folks in the US seems to be fear. Especially if the traveler is a woman.