fear unknown

the fear is real when engulfed by darkness

babu p. mohan

1/16/20231 min read

I was not sure about taking the next step. The path was dark. There was no light. My cellphone light was on, however I had no idea about the extent of darkness in front of me. The time was 3:30 AM. The sky above was clear. The galaxies, constellations and stars were in glorious display above me. Air was crisp and fresh. However, the breeze was strong and cold.

Earlier, I had driven an hour and half, from my beach facing hotel, to reach the volcano national park in big island, Hawaii. There was no other person. As per google-maps, I had to be at a safe distance from the edge of the volcanic crater. Nevertheless, at this moment, darkness had engulfed me completely. I felt fear. It’s an interesting feeling. Engulfed by darkness all around.

Complete darkness, where one has no clue if you are going to hit a wall or drop off from the edge of a volcanic crater. It’s the fear of the unknown. I have had this feeling before. I knew the software. I knew how to execute the analysis. I had figured out the literature search, data collection and I also prepared a write-up format. Despite all these, I was engulfed by the fear of the unknown. A darkness, and I didn’t know if taking the next step was safe.

Next day, I visited the same spot in broad daylight. I laughed out loud. At myself. The spot where fear gripped me after being engulfed by darkness, was just few feet away from a look-out spot. At a far distance beyond this was the volcano. I just had to take one more step and my phone light might have illuminated the look-out spot for me. One step at a time. Travel the distance one step at a time.

One step at a time. One feature at a time, one section at a time, one paragraph at a time and your meta-analysis manuscript will be ready. Once you know what it takes, it’s like what I saw in broad daylight. I acknowledge that the fear is real when engulfed by darkness. I assure you, this will happen only once and you will overcome the fear unknown.