Its been a long time coming and I have run from the idea that I should use one month this year to overcome my fear of bugs. I would say that I am a pretty loyal person. Enough that if a huge bear was attacking my family at a camp site, I would be the one trying to lure it away. But you put a spider on my couch or an ant on my picnic blanket and I am running for the door people.
I have seen Fear Factor and all of those other "overcome your fears for money" shows but no one is giving me money to see me overcome these personal issues. Well... not yet anyway. I guess I can hold out hope that Oprah or Ellen will read this and be so inspired to see how far I've come and help me take my story to the next level.
But I do live in reality and bugs are everywhere. Especially in the summer, from the mosquitoes which I actually find more annoying than scary, to the ladybugs which are both cute and not welcome in my home to the roaches outside in the hot DC sun. Lets not talk about the bed bugs I have heard so much about from friends who bought a used mattress or succumbed to from an infected apartment rental. I am just not a bug person. Never have been and never will be.
I expected to spend this month whitewater rafting, even tried to fit it in to my week long trip to Colorado last week but Denver is home to my husband's family and we chose to see our relatives and take a quiet family vacation to Vail instead of me squeezing in another blog-related pursuit.
That being said, in a location that shall remain nameless, I came face to face with small, little white bugs known as none other than maggots. Yes sir, real indeed. I was sitting down on an outdoor chair when some water squirted out under my seat and onto my foot. When I got up to look and examine the cushion underneath, I saw some dried piece of food and some friendly little white critters crawling around like it was chocolate mousse pie. Maybe it was but it certainly wasnt in edible condition.... for humans anyway.
My first reaction was to jump up and try to shake myself free of any loose hanging stragglers on my outfit or sandal. Despite the fact that they were under the chair and none had touched me, I still could not remove the idea that one had to be stuck somewhere on my body or belongings and I just might not see it. Its sort of that feeling like you're itchy all over when you see a creepy crawly thing even though nothing touched you.
Once I calmed down from my clear over reaction, which was obvious to both me and my 3.5 year old, I took a step back and thought about how to handle the situation. I eventually agreed to assist in the cleaning of the chair cushion and helped wash those tiny little buggies back into the great outdoors where they belong. I wouldn't say I willingly confronted the little guys but I realized I was needed to step in and assist in the reclamation efforts and I did as I should.
Now back at home, I have been secretly awaiting another opportunity to encounter another bug and save my family from its control. Last night, after sleeping for a few hours, my big kid woke up asking me to sing her a song. While singing her back to sleep, I noticed a huge millipede on her wall right by her water bottle about an inch from where she lays her head. Without a second thought, I ran to the bathroom for a tissue and squashed the little creature. Not exactly mother natures best solution as I am not a huge fan of killing anything. But it was too late to run outside and I was home alone with both kids. These bugs move SO fast that if you don't trap them or squish them, they can hide for months and you'll never find them.
I cannot say my anxiety has passed but I am proud of myself for coming out of my shell just a tad to overcome what has been a long time fear. I am certainly still planning a rafting adventure for next month, the final piece to end this blog project of a year. But until then, I guess I will be on the lookout for critters along the way and try to force myself to both acknowledge their existence, attempt not to kill them and linger for a few minutes in their midst before standing on top of the kitchen table. You will never find me inside one of those plastic containers you lay in during those competition shows lined with bugs galore. Not my style. But to challenge myself on a daily basis to put myself into the sphere of discomfort in an attempt to let go of something that doesn't bring me closer to being a better person, is something I can certainly live with. Who knows, maybe I'm on my way to having a pet tarantula someday... or worse maybe one of my kids will fall in love with one and let it loose one day just to test if Ive really confronted my fear. Wouldn't that be a blast!