5. Fear of Heights

In Spanish, the word tiempo means both "weather" and "time." It makes sense: both are incontrollable facts of life (with the notable exception of human-induced climate change); and yet I've struggled not to take them personally.


I am more concerned with weather these days, but it was all about time in my early teens. I remember watching the second hand of a clock make its circles, and sitting completely still, as if my stillness could stop it. (I soon learned that the opposite tactic—moving through space as quickly as possible—is far more effective.)

When my good friend from high school passed away, his death left me with a broken heart, an intensified fear of heights, and a strange sense that it wasn't my time that I was trying to slow down back then.