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One Month Challenge: Facing Fears, Week 1

[Everyone’s got a vice, a bad habit, something they know they need to change. Unfortunately, everyone also has a million excuses why they just can’t do it. Not anymore. Every month we will be following a different CollegeCandy writer as she takes on a personal challenge. Last month it was Samantha and her valiant attempt at going man-free. This month, we’re hanging out with Jill as she faces her greatest fears head on.]

When I thought about what I wanted to do for my one-month challenge, so many things came to mind: I could go on a social media diet, I could go on a vegan diet, a debt diet… and on and on it went until I decided I wanted to do something out of the box (and not including the word diet). My birthday is coming up this month (ten days! Woop!) and for the past year, I realized not much has changed. I’m sort of in a rut; in a routine of sorts. I wake up with the intention of working out but hit snooze, go to work, work out, watch bad reality TV, spend too much time on Facebook, go to bed, repeat. It’s boring, yes, but it’s comfortable. And like that sweatshirt I have from freshman year that I still won’t part with, comfortable is sometimes a lot easier and more convenient than the other option.

So to shake things up a bit, I decided this month would be all about living outside my box, confronting my fears and living outside of my comfort zone. I have a list a mile long of things I want to be bold and daring enough to do – some big and some not so big – and I’m sure as the month goes on, things will just pop up forcing me to be uncomfortable for a bit but happier in the long run. I’m hoping facing my fears will get me out of this sticky spot I’m in and force me to embrace the world with some new gusto.

And this week I started small. Very, very small. To you this may not sound scary or uncomfortable at all, but to me it was one large step for mankind. Well for me-kind, and I’ll take it.

This week, I faced my over-the-top, irrational fear of spiders and killed a spider on my window sill all by myself. I contemplated calling my doorman to take care of it, but the humiliation stopped me. Well, that and the fact that I had just promised myself I’d face my fears head on.

Let me clarify: this spider was teeny tiny, but at the very site of it in my bedroom I started squealing like a 10-year-old at a Justin Beiber concert (or a 25-year-old at a Backstreet Boys concert, cough cough). I started pacing around my room and realized I had two options:

1) Leave for work and let the spider be. But what if it crawled over to my bed? And multiplied by a million? And then I would come home from work to a bed FULL of spiders? (This was actually my thought process – clearly this option was no option at all.)
2) Take the challenge, face the fear and kill the itsy bitsy spider who came down the damn water spout (or wherever he came from… What a ridiculous song anyway).

So option two won and with almost an entire roll of toilet paper in my hand, I squealed and screamed as I reached for that spider. But just as I thought I had it, it scurried away (the nerve! Didn’t he realize I was facing a crazy fear here?) and I panicked. Sweat was dripping down my face, I was having heart palpitations and called my mom to yell at her for child abandonment for not being here to kill the spider for me. She didn’t pick up.

So, with no other choice, I took slightly less toilet paper and had at that spider again, this time successfully grabbing it, screaming from my bedroom to my bathroom as I flushed that bad boy down the toilet. Once it was gone, I looked in the mirror, smiled and did a little “go me!” dance in my bathroom.

I still can’t believe I did it!! I can’t tell you how liberated and awesome I feel. I know, it seems so insignificant, but it’s majorly significant for me. And it’s not to say that if a huge spider were to come crawling across my carpet right now (god forbid) I wouldn’t freak out or hesitate, but at least I know I CAN handle it. And if I can muster up the courage to take on that mega fear, who knows what else I can accomplish this month.

I guess we’ll find out. I’ve got a long month ahead of me and I’m excited (and totally scared) to see what’s coming. Join me in shaking things up a bit and share the fears you’re going to tackle in the comments below!

JillCOLLEGECANDY Writer
I'll try anything in life. Unless it involves spiders. or olives.