This past week...well, really these past few months...have been filled with all kinds of fear, both professional, personal, and public. Life continues as normal most of the time, but the fear still lurks while I'm showering, or driving home, or trying to sleep at night.
I was afraid for my students after the Newtown shooting. High school students can be challenging, and they are sometimes their own worst enemies. But they are still kids, and they deserve to be safe and protected in school. They were worried in the days that followed; one student asked me if I would abandon them in the classroom if a shooter came into our building. Now, I know that I can come across as a bit gruff, but the fact that this girl felt she needed to ask me was sad.
(Shortly after the Newtown incident, there was an incident at my soon-to-be-step-son's elementary school. Nothing came of it, but it was scary to read about how close it all came.)
The public and the personal fears overlapped last week, co-existing as I heard about the Boston Marathon bombing. Some of the fiance's and my various close friends live or work in the Boston area, and we had a friend participating in the run. Thankfully, everyone we knew was safe. But those waiting moments, checking Facebook and text messages to make sure everyone was okay, were nerve wracking.
I've also been afraid for a friend who is going through a difficult time and there is absolutely nothing I can do to help. And another friend can't find someone, which is so scary, and another thing I can't do a thing about.
While all these fears pile up, combine, and fade in and out, I try to live my normal life. I clean my house, I pet my cats, I watch bad (and good) TV, and I hug my fiance a little tighter at night. I can't let the fears take over, or I'd just curl up in a ball. And then I feel guilty (leftover Catholicism?) for taking on fears that are not my own.
No big revelations in this post, but I wanted to talk about these big (and little) events.