A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder, usually defined as a persistent and unreasonable fear of certain object or situation. The long list of scary names goes on, such as acrophobia, claustrophobia, and agoraphobia. And there is my phobia which even looks pretty in the center of those names with monstrous eyes. Here is a short piece of my memory about the day I started to fear something flying off.
I was seven. I was left in my aunt’s house in Seoul leaving my hometown Busan, separated from my parents. Nobody told me what was going on, but I could have guessed the situation by meeting my dad in hospital clothes. What I could only rely on was an orange balloon filled with helium. Dad brought it for me on the first day I met him in Seoul. As I left all the things and friends in Busan, I always felt like a stranger there. The balloon seemed to be another self of dad to me so that I always kept it with me wherever I went.
However, dad seemed to dislike my excessive affection to the balloon. He even got angry when I took out the shrunken balloon from my pocket. He took me to the vending machine where he bought the orange balloon. And he forced me to make a promise to him. “I’ll buy you another balloon, but promise me. You’ll let it fly as soon as you get it.” Suddenly, I felt weird. He looked stern and forceful, not as usual. I felt uneasy just by imagining myself releasing the balloon. So I told him “Then, I won’t take it”. But no matter what I told him, he eventually bought the balloon and made me release it with my own hands. Although it has been over 10 years after that day, I can still feel the ring of balloon getting out of my index finger.
As a grown up, now I can guess what my dad would have thought on that day. Maybe he was just concerned about my abnormal obsession to balloon, or the loneliness that I might have felt due to the short absence of my family. But because the balloon was another piece of dad to me, I couldn’t have released it easily. It felt like something really important leaving me. I can’t watch something flying off from that day, which is why I’ve never had flown a kite.
My seemingly trivial phobia sometimes causes inconvenience in my daily life. Going to the amusement park, all kinds of balloons block my sight. In case of the beach in winter, it’s the kites everywhere. But the strangest thing is that, I actually love my phobia. Because I already have experienced losing my dad once (though it wasn’t the real one), I know his preciousness more than anybody does. Nowadays, I’m trying to spend much time with him telling every single detail of my days the same as I did at seven. And you facing this piece of article must have someone to share your life with, too. Whoever it would be, I hope you realize the importance of them as soon as possible. I hope you see all the banalities turning into shiny pearls when you are with them. So what would be the problem if I can’t go to amusement park or the beach in winter? Now I know everywhere glows holding my dad’s hand!
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