4 Reasons Why Everyday Life Is Scarier Than Halloween.

Halloween is supposed to be the scariest day of the year.

However, I find it strangely calming.

I think this is because everyday life tends freak me out on a regular basis and, at least at Halloween, I have legitimate reason to feel this way.

Creatures such as ghosts, vampires, werewolves and witches are specifically designed to induce a sense of fear and anxiety and it is acceptable to be afraid of them.

It is less acceptable to be afraid of receiving a phone call from an unknown user ID.

To celebrate Halloween, here are four everyday things that scare me more than any ghost, vampire, werewolf or witch ever could.

1. Finances

As a fully-grown adult, I am expected to manage my own finances which is unfortunate really because I understand money about as well as I understand supernatural forces.

Just to clarify, I’d probably have a better chance of banishing an evil spirit from my house than I would completing a tax return form.

Fortunately, I have come up with some techniques to help me wrap my mind around my finances.

Unfortunately, these techniques aren’t very effective.

My current tactic for dealing with my student debt is pretending that it doesn’t exist which is extremely counter-productive.

Because it does exist.

And it’s going to be haunting me for years…

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2. Public Speaking

Sometimes, the fact that I am scared of public speaking makes me feel like a bit of a wimp.

People are scared of vampires, zombies and other Halloween creatures because they are legitimately dangerous – they either want to drink your blood, eat your brains or cause you some other form of significant bodily harm.

The only scary thing about public speaking is the collective judgement of others.

Unfortunately, the idea of being negatively judged by multiple people causes me to experience a paralysing fear that can be equated to the abject horror that Frodo Baggins felt when looking into the eye of Sauron.

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People often tell me that the way to conquer my fear of public speaking is to approach the situation with a positive attitude and visualise success.

However, whenever I try these visualisation techniques, I just end up unearthing the ghosts of all the previous times that I messed up on stage.

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3. Dating

Modern dating is terrifying, predominantly because it is so confusing.

Technological advancements mean that a lot of communication isn’t done face to face.

As a result, when you first start dating someone, most of your time is spent desperately trying to figure out what the other person is thinking.

Unfortunately, no two people think in exactly the same way and therefore trying to understand what another person is thinking through the context of your own thought processes is impossible.

For a lot of people, communicating with a potential partner is a bit like receiving messages from another dimension.

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Sometimes, you don’t get anything back at all.

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4. The Future

The future is scary because it is a complete unknown.

We can attempt to exert some level of control over the future by planning ahead but, for the most part, it is impossible to predict what is going to happen.

Some people find this exciting.

I find it absolutely terrifying.

I do not currently have a very strong sense of identity.

In fact, Halloween is pretty much the only time of year when I actually have a solid idea of who I am.

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Therefore, when somebody asks me who I am going to be in the future, my brain suffers a system malfunction and completely shuts down and I have to find a way to actively remove myself from the conversation.

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Whenever I can manage to haul myself out of my own narcissistic, self-absorbed, millennial mind bubble for a few minutes, I also get scared about the future of mankind and the planet.

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There is no need to invest in a horror movie when you can get the same effect by simply turning on the TV.

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I honestly don’t know how we all get out of bed in the morning…

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I Lived In The Canadian Wilderness For 6 Months. Well, on a Kids’ Camp With Some Heated Cabins, a Semi-Functional Wifi Connection and a Dining Hall That Provided Hot Meals at Regular Intervals But Other Than That It Was Basically Primitive…

I graduated from university in July 2015.

The whole experience was quite disorientating.

For the first time since the age of four, I found myself outside of the academic system that had always provided me with a steady stream of goals and a consistent sense of purpose.

I felt quite lost like Nemo in Finding Nemo or the people in that TV show where the plane crashes and the passengers become stranded on an island.

I often experienced difficulty answering certain questions in job interviews.

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I do not remember having identity issues as a child.

Back then, I spent a lot of time in the great outdoors and when I say the ‘great outdoors’, I am referring mainly to my parents’ back garden.

My parents’ back garden featured breath-taking geographical features such as a 2×3 metre pond, a multitude of impressive wildlife specimens in the form of worms and the occasional pigeon and some flowers.

Once I was in the wilderness, it was hard to get me out.

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Eight months after graduating, I decided to go and work on an outdoor education camp on the west coast of Canada, in what I guess was an attempt to reconnect with a simpler time when I worried less about establishing myself in the ‘real world’ and more about the important things in life, such as whether my mum would get mad if I used her electric whisk to blend together the ingredients of my mud pie.

Western Canada is a land of great natural beauty.

It looks a lot like that place that they used to film Lord of the Rings, except not exactly like that place because that place isn’t Canada; it’s New Zealand.

However, soon after arriving at camp, I discovered that finding a peaceful moment to contemplate nature is kind of difficult when you spend the majority of your time surrounded by kids.

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When you are out on a boat with a group of children it is important to concentrate, not on the complexity of human cognition, but on providing some form entertainment for the kids.

Neglecting to do this will encourage them to find ways of entertaining themselves.

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At first, I did genuinely believe that it was going to be okay.

The logical part of my brain was aware of the fact that a group of 11 year old girls didn’t possess the vocal capacity to continue singing until the end of time.

However, as the minutes passed and the singing continued, I started to lose my grip on my sanity and with it my ability to think in a rational manner.

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As a camp counsellor, you are required to provide 24 hour supervision for the kids in your care.

This means that you have to sleep in the same building as them which would be fine if it weren’t for the fact that a lot of children don’t understand how to sleep properly.

Some kids, for example, operate under the terrible misconception that the crack of dawn is an acceptable time to be awake.

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Children learn at an accelerated rate and as a result have highly imaginative minds.

This heightened curiosity that children possess is an amazing thing.

However, it is significantly less amazing when it manifests itself in a seemingly unstoppable torrent of questions at 4:35am in the morning.

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Despite its frustrations, working with children is ultimately a pretty rewarding experience, even if it does entail spending the early hours of the morning explaining how sunscreen works to a 9 year old.

However, during my time at camp, I was not working with kids 100% of the time.

In the spring season, the site was frequently rented out to adult groups for various events, weddings and retreats.

Whilst working with one of these groups, I got talking to a man who told me that stargazing on a regular basis helped him to maintain clarity of thought.

The man in question had dreadlocks and was wearing a ‘Live, Breath, Yoga’ singlet so I decided that he was probably a reliable source of wisdom.

I figured that what he was saying made sense – if you’re searching for a personal lightbulb moment, why not look to nature’s very own lightbulbs to locate it?

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I’m beginning to doubt if staring intensely at a mountain range or the night sky is an effective way to induce a moment of epic self-realisation.

Maybe a solid identity is not something that can be found in a fixed moment because we ourselves are not permanent fixtures.

Our minds are always evolving and the way in which we perceive ourselves and our surroundings is constantly changing.

Maybe the process of reaching self-enlightenment is a bit more like driving down a heavily congested road…

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