My Biggest Fear

My Biggest Fear

Something that can't be touched or run away from.
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"What is your biggest fear?"

That question is normally quite simple to answer; for some people it's heights and for others it's clowns. Sometimes snakes or spiders, or maybe even the dark. The feeling of being alone or sitting in a space that's too tight for comfort. While all of these are rational, and some of them I may share, none of them can ever seem to come close to my fear of forgetting a moment or losing a memory.

I fear that one day when I listen to my once favorite songs the only memory I'll have is the lyrics, rather than how the song made me feel on a summer day in the car with my friends or how it made me cry when I sat on my bed as the rain poured outside. I fear that I will spray on my favorite perfume and not be taken back to my trip to New York or the one night out with my friends when school finally ended. Though not tangible, memories are precious and personal and one of the biggest parts of who we all are. How frightening it must be to lose those that once meant so much to you.

I am afraid of one day being asked "remember when?" and not being able to answer. Some people may think if you lose a memory it wasn't worth it in the first place, but what about the days you spend with your friends, the ones where you think to yourself "I am the luckiest person in the world to have met these people." I fear that one day the color red won't take me back to the once best night of my life when the lights at that concert all blazed a bright, blood red. Those days that make you love who you are and what you're doing and that put a smile on your face on even the darkest days. What would happen should you forget those small moments in time? Sure we can't remember everything but what if we lost all of the moments that made us smile, made us feel nostalgic, made us find peace.

Maybe losing memories can be good. Maybe a certain smell brings back a terrible memory and maybe a certain place is a reminder of all that's been lost. But even losing those memories changes who you are. It can make you less empathetic, less helpful. We become who we are through the good and the bad memories, and taking away those remimders could alter us completely, change the way we act towards the ones we love, change the way we look at life, and change the way we interact with others.

And though I may fear spiders and planes and small spaces, none of those could ever compare to the feeling of despair I get once the feeling of a good time and the memory of happiness fades away into nothing.

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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What Rescuing a Dog Taught Me About My Future

She was a real pain to begin with, but I wouldn't give her up for the world now.

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My first dog came from a breeder to us when he was just a puppy. I was in third grade so we were both young together. I remember stepping off of the bus and seeing him curled up in my mom's arms. His breed, a Cavalier King Charles, is a highly sought after dog for their small size and beautiful markings. However, dog breeding can lead to medical complications down the line. Heart murmurs are very frequent as cavaliers get older. When he turned 9 years old, they were already detecting the beginning of a heart murmur in him. But my second dog didn't come to us in quite the same way.

Willow was about a year old. She was rescued from an abusive home where she had to fight for her food from many other dogs. This made her guard resources and distrustful of us. My mom and I begged the rest of our family for the ability to adopt her, and they finally agreed. Being not potty trained, we had to teach her with a lot of positive encouragement when she went pee in the right place (not our carpet). It took her a while to realize that we weren't going to take her food away and she gradually became less resource guarding. She started to trust my other dog more and play with him. A lot of the time, they even snuggle together now.

At the time, I was in my junior year of high school and still thinking about the idea of becoming a veterinarian. She helped me decide to go for it, and now I'm in college and getting ready to apply for veterinary school. Willow has become part of our family, and her funny and unique personality fit right in with us.

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