I wanted to stay away from these kinds of posts for awhile, especially during a time when I’m attempting to concentrate on rebuilding myself as a writer, and most importantly, enjoying it again. I finished university and spent the last three years having all these great ideas for stories, but no effort to write them – because I was already working on the first project I started, which I eventually started to hate. Hey, that’s the life of being a writer, isn’t it? Or not. I’m still figuring it on.
But I digress, fear is the topic of this week. And fear has been overwhelming in the day-to-day lives of some. Even more so now, when there has been attacks in places there shouldn’t have been (although there shouldn’t be any, full stop), an increase in armed police on our streets ensuring our safety and terror threats shutting down events at even the slightest whoft. It’s crazy, and it does scare me. It scares me because there are people experiencing things that should never be experienced. It breaks my heart thinking about the war-torn countries that I’ve never visited. The families that watch bombs drop while their kids are out playing, or in school, or at a friends. The people just waiting for the tragedy to happen to them, because they live in such an awful place that it’s just a matter of time to lose someone they know. It honestly hurts me to think about the pain that these people go through. My entire body feels limp when I hear about bombs and threats on the news – Paris, Manchester, Kabul, Syria to name a few. The lists grows every single day, and it’s heartbreaking. I don’t need to go into reasons why it’s heartbreaking and explain every emotion I feel at every “BREAKING NEWS” article or news clip that I see. You know how I feel, or at least I hope you do. We need more people to feel this way. To feel empathy and love and care for all types of people from all types of places.
I write this because today, Rock AM Ring got shut down on it’s first evening because of a terror threat. Tens of thousands of fans evacuated from the site, and in that little bit of unity singing “You Will Never Walk Alone.” I can’t begin to imagine the fear the people of RAR must of felt. They didn’t know the details, they only knew it was a terror threat, but there they were all standing side by side and making a terrible situation that little bit better. I can tell you now, that while I hate the thought of fear holding people back, I would have been the first person to start crying.
Now, I travel to Austria in eleven days for Nova Rock Festival in Nickelsdorf. My biggest fear up until this point was attempting to find my way around a foreign country to get from Vienna airport to Pannonia Fields I. I’ll admit, I saw the tweets come rolling in about RAR and my stomach churned. I was at the exact festival last year, almost going again this year until we seen the Nova Rock line-up. But this isn’t about me, I was just shocked that it happened, as would anyone. Here’s a little backstory to why I decided to write about this topic:
I told my mother about it. I told her that RAR was shut down and everyone needed to be evacuated, and she told me I wasn’t going to Austria. Bad luck, mum, I’m going no matter what. I wouldn’t miss Green Day and Blink-182 headlining a festival for anything. So, she gets mad, telling me I shouldn’t have told her. And I probably shouldn’t have, because I know it’s just going to make her worry more about me when I’m away. She doesn’t like me going into the city center on my own. She didn’t want me to work this weekend because of the UEFA Championships. I don’t have that kind of fear, and that’s what I want to talk about it.
I don’t know how it feels to have that kind of fear. To have a voice in the back of your head telling you all the things that could go wrong. The constant whispering. To let that voice stop you from doing the things you need to do. Since the Manchester attack, so many people have sold their gig tickets. Slam Dunk, Blink-182, Download. I’ve seen the tickets go up for sale left, right and center. I don’t know why I don’t feel it, but I won’t let my life be stopped because of a threat, or a risk, or whatever you want to call it. I can’t stop these things from happening, but I can try my best to enjoy what little pleasure the world has left to offer and hope for the best.
I can’t guarantee that I won’t walk two steps out of my house and get run over by a crazed driver. I can’t guarantee that I won’t go to work one day and be stabbed by some high chick. I can’t guarantee that I won’t take my dogs for a walk and get mauled by some super-cute German Sheppard. There are a thousand ways I could meet my demise – but all those ways I could at whatever time of day, isn’t going to stop me. Sure, I’ll be on edge and I’ll be extra vigilant – just like any other person that’s heard of all these attacks. But these things aren’t written in stone. Imagine putting something off because it happened somewhere else, to find out later that it went ahead and it was just as amazing as you thought. Wouldn’t that suck? I know the risks that travelling provides. I know that I could get lost in a random city, get mugged because of my vulnerability of a foreign country. My plane could crash land. My bus could catch fire. My head could explode into a thousand pieces because I overthought everything and it’s frazzled my brain. And I know the risk of evacuation – but I trust in those who aim to protect us to do just that. I trust the goodness in the majority of people to guide and help me. I’m not afraid, because all I want to do is to experience what I can before it all turns into hell. That’s all I want to do. And I suggest we all do it, because by giving into fear, is giving these people who want to ruin our world, exactly what they want. We can’t give in to that, otherwise we’re handing them our lives.