Fears And The Younger Self | Mark’s Remarks - Republic-Times | News

Fears And The Younger Self | Mark’s Remarks

By on August 22, 2018 at 10:00 am

I think about what I feared when I was younger and how many of those fears have gone away. I also realize that things worry me that didn’t worry me when I was younger.

I’m told that the nervous system continues to change as we grow older, and I’m inclined to believe it.

When I was quite young, storms scared me, especially tornados. We had seen a film about tornados in science class in fourth grade, showing the aftermath of a twister. I’m pretty sure I was afraid of them before that, though.

Now, I think I would almost fancy being a storm chaser. It seems very exciting and even fun, although I’m sure the chasers would tell you it’s serious business. I guess I’d like to see a funnel cloud or chase one, as long as I was far enough away.

This time of year always reminds me of when I moved to Columbia from a small town two hours away. As a kid, St. Louis was the big city and a place that was a bit scary. Even as a teenager, I had driven to St. Louis and around the city, but I always knew where I was going. 

After I had become a new teacher, I decided I’d go to Sam’s Wholesale Club and get a couple of giant bags of popcorn. I was sort of sure of the path to take, but I had never been to this new place called South County, nor did I really know anything about it.

I thought “South County” was a city in itself at the time, although I figured it was pretty big. Someone had told me how to get to Sam’s, so off I went, pretending I was a big city person.

I had also never heard of the JB Bridge, nor had I thought I needed to cross it to get where I was going. I didn’t know that I-255 became I-270.  I’m telling you, the first time I drove to this mysterious place called South County, I nearly scared myself senseless. 

I am ashamed to admit it, but it’s funny to me now: remember the gas station on the corner of Lindbergh? I stopped there and asked for directions to Sam’s.  And I’m pretty sure the people there laughed at me a little. I’m sure I looked like a country bumpkin who had lost his way.

Now we zip back and forth between Missouri and Illinois as if we’d done it all our lives. I guess we have. 

It’s been almost 30 years, after all.

Mark Tullis

Mark is a 25-year veteran teacher teaching in Columbia. Originally from Fairfield, Mark is married with four children. He enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with his family, and has been involved in various aspects of professional and community theater for many years and enjoys appearing in local productions. Mark has also written a "slice of life" style column for the Republic-Times since 2007.