My Secret Fear

My Secret Fear

A lot of people tell me I’m SO BRAVE to drive across country by myself, jump out of an airplane, raft down a ten foot waterfall, go hang gliding, or participate in a national oral presentation competition.  Many people think I am fearless.

I am not.  I was never really scared of any of those things (except skydiving, but I eventually did it anyway).

I’m secretly TERRIFIED of parking garages.

When I was 18, I had my first experience in a parking garage as a driver.  I drove in, found a spot, and parked.  Not so different from a parking lot.  When I was done with my school day at University of Florida, I got in my car and followed the exit signs.  As soon as I pulled out and turned the corner, I realized I was trapped in a labyrinth from hell.  Instead of leading me OUT of the garage, following the exit signs led me to the ROOF.  Each time I went up a level, I felt the walls and ceiling closing in on me.  The first ray of sunlight as I entered the roof felt like the door of my jail cell being slammed shut.  I couldn’t breathe.  I need to get out now!  How do I escape?!

I tried to think rationally.  Since I wasn’t actually locked inside the garage, I could park on the roof and scale the side of the building.  But then my car would still be stuck in the garage, so that would have to be the last resort.  For a split second, I considered driving my car off of the roof.

Defeated, I parked on the roof and screamed in frustration.  I felt like it was a setup.  An evil master plan to trap me on the roof of the garage.  And my evil captor had me right where they wanted me.  My whole body was shaking as I tried to catch my breath.  I had to act quickly if I wanted to get out alive.  Sitting in my car on the roof of the garage was not getting me any closer to escaping.  But I had already exhausted all of my ideas.  I wasn’t ready to abandon my car yet.

So I did what any distraught teenager would do:  I called my dad.  He told me to ignore all exit signs and look for a different set of ramps.  I slowly made my way back down through the labyrinth, still feeling like I was behind enemy lines.  Every time I turned a corner, I held my breath waiting to see what new obstacles would appear. When I got to the ground floor, I saw an exit sign that pointed the wrong way.  I felt my stomach tighten at the thought of ending up on the roof again.  Is this it?  Am I trapped inside?

I looped back around the ground floor, and saw a clear path to the exit!  I sped up to get through the exit before any more obstacles could appear.  I finally escaped!  I made it out alive!

Still terrified, I drove straight home and promised myself I would never park in a garage ever again.


One Reply to “My Secret Fear”

  1. Love you girl. Even though we’ve never got to do any of this together, it’s been an adventure watching you do all these amazing things. You should start your own YouTube channel. I have had a very similar experience ina parking garage. Not fun .

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