Are you afraid of the dark?
I am. And the woods. That goes double for dark woods. I mean it’s not an issue when I’m safe and sound inside four walls but when I, for instance, went out into the woods with a few friends, I was terrified the whole time.
There were no jump scares or sudden noises or impromptu bear encounters so we’ll call it a successful desensitization run. But what about next time?
I thought 2016 would be a good year to start spending winter nights in tents. I had all the necessary gear but my head wasn’t in the game yet.
You see, there’s no place in Finland with 24/7 light available, not during winter. Unless you count your own backyard. Which I don’t. And I wouldn’t dare set up my tent on the communal lawn, not even for practice. People have filed complaints for far less.
But we did spend the night outdoors last winter and during the course of this Fall we’ve spent lots and lots more. But I’m still afraid of the dark whenever I’m not in a tent.
Last year I conquered my fear of heights.
It just sort of vanished the second I looked down from Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park. I think it’s the tallest spot I’ve ever stepped my foot on, save for a plane.
After that I don’t get light-headed or feel an urgent compulsion to throw myself flat on my stomach when I get near a ledge.
So I hereby promise to conquer my fear of the dark. I will persistently spend time outside after dark until it becomes my friend and ally.