Saturday, January 12, 2013

Day 12: The Logic of Fear

This was going to be a Lost in DC post, but it's really more about fear, in general, than about the one I've just conquered.  And I've discovered over the years (though I always deny it in the moment) that fear is the thing that most gets in the way of my writing.  Sometimes I don't want to understand the situation I'm in and don't want to deal with the pain that writing about it can bring about.  But in the end, it's always better to get past it, to suffer momentarily in order to figure it out and move on.  Perhaps I'm also afraid of moving on in some situations, afraid of what that means.  Having to accept harsh truths or, worse, give them to someone else.

Fear does serve a purpose.  My fear of driving on the Capital Beltway (I-495) was completely justified - it is a crazy, backward, traffic-ridden highway and, between the recklessness of some drivers and the confusion that the roads themselves cause, I do not blame myself for avoiding it whenever possible.  However, I decided to take it to and from Alexandria the other day to overcome my fear.  If for no other reason than not having to worry about being terrified of it should I ever accidentally end up on it.  The simple fact is, if you're living in or visiting the DC Metro Area, you are going to end up on The Beltway at some point.  The same interstate highway that Americans have been fearing getting stuck on since 1984.  Better to be prepared for the insanity than to be the one causing an accident.

Historic Photo National Park Seminary Bounded by Capitol Beltway (I-495) Linden Lane


  1. Oh my god. The Beltway. I used to work in Baltimore and part of my commute from Silver Spring was the beltway. People are insane drivers. I came across an accident almost every day. At midnight when I was driving home one night, I came across a massive accident with multiple semi's in a tangled mess. Needless to say my husband was always nervous for me. But he takes the Beltway everyday to Virginia -- which makes me a bit nervous as well. So yeah -- I know how you feel!

    1. I know a few people who take The Beltway (it looks so ominous as a proper noun) daily and I can't figure out how they have survived this long. There were a few times when I tried to avoid it, but ended up stuck on it and, on one occasion, accidentally ended up in Maryland. Speaking of which, Silver Spring was originally where I wanted to move. Still haven't had a chance to visit, but I did my research and decided it MUST be awesome (and a few friends told me it's just that). You'll have to tell me more about it!


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