Can you remember what you were frightened of as a child, once the lights were turned off and you were alone in your bed? For me, it varied. Ghosts, the guy from Scream and his creepy mask, and for a while, any hint of a "bzzz" after a wasp's nest was found in the vent above my bed. Actually, that last fear never quite went away. And the Scream mask still creeps me out.
As adults, we shake our heads at the irrational fears of childhood. The once deep-seated horror at lurking monsters under the bed that were waiting to jump out at us, now seems irrational and immature. Oh how we laugh - we know better! But really, we just invent new monsters.
There are those that won't leave the house today due to the combination of "Friday" and "13", creating in their mind a day filled with bad luck and doom at every turn. Rather than run the risk of crossing paths with a black cat or Freddie Kruger, they buckle down and wait it out. I'm sure that many of these people are quite rational in many aspects of their life. They go to work, they pay their bills and live their lives in a manner familiar to the majority of us. And yet, Friday the 13th fills them with a superstitious dread which they cannot shake.
I must confess, I found myself in the midst of a bit of superstitious nonsense throughout this week. Something truly wonderful and amazing happened which I initially had to keep schtum about. But now that the truly wonderful is truly set in stone and is very much real, I've still been selective about who I broadcast it to. Why? Well, at first, I didn't want to jinx it.
I'm a college educated 24-year-old woman and I was scared that if I shared my good fortune, some bad juju might ruin it all. Yeah, it sounds even more ridiculous reading it than it does saying it aloud.
This particular type of wonderful event was not something that was dependant on luck. It came about through hard work and merit. Now, by the law of balances, if you believe in a bit of good luck (which I do), then you have to concede that a bit of the bad kind goes around sometimes. It's also easy to acknowledge that not everybody in this world wants you to do well. Some people will not only not share in your joy or happiness, they'll be actively annoyed and resentful at your good fortune; even if that fortune was of your own making and you completely deserve it.
But, to borrow a phrase, even if haters are gonna hate, why be afraid of that? It's not like their negativity is going to reverse the wonderful? They can shade eye and bitch about you until the cows come home, but it's not actually going to change anything tangible in your life. The only thing it will do, the only thing that worrying about such things will do, is feed the superstition. It encourages us to put more faith in such things as jinxes and green eye than in ourselves and our capabilities.
Like a dread of Friday the 13th, the power comes from indulging the fear in the first place. We give such thoughts legitimacy by even entertaining them. Why are we much quicker to feed the monsters in our mind than the hope that things will turn out okay? Our own doubts and fears will get us long before Freddie Kruger does.
Maybe we're all a bunch of cynics. Maybe we all just need a bit of a self-esteem boost. Perhaps we prefer the idea that paranormal powers are at play instead of the likeliness that life is just unfair or unpredictable at times.
Or maybe we never really leave behind the monsters under the bed - they just change shape as we get older.
P.S - The wonderful thing? I'm now Producer of Spin Talk on Spin 1038. Yeah, it's pretty kick-ass.