I love my home, but I was so nervous that bears would infest my yard that I couldn’t enjoy it during the first two weeks of living there. If you’re unfamiliar with bears, allow me to explain—bears are ferociously wild animals whose diets primarily consist of human flesh…specifically the flesh of 25-30 year old human males of Trinidadian descent…or at least that’s people told me.
My place is a modern log cabin situated in the middle of a large wooded lot in a somewhat rural town that no one has ever heard of. In fact, you can probably type my address into Google Maps and it’ll respond with, “Is that even a thing?? Speak English!” To most people, Rural town + log cabin + lots of land = a scene from a scary movie where the black guy is eaten by a bear within the first 15 minutes. As a result, people with generally pure intentions immediately began to caution me of the supposed dangers of being chewed up by local bears who enjoy the sweet and slightly tangy taste of a Geremy.
At first I was able to dismiss all of the negative thoughts relatively easily. I told myself that the likelihood of bears on the property is relatively low, and even if there were any bears, I could outmaneuver them and thanks to my many [fictitious] years of ninja training. But one day I was curious and Googled something along the lines of “what to do when approached by a bear.” Big mistake!! Through a series of interesting internet searches, I found myself reading many stories of bear encounters and none of them ended with the human and bear declaring their everlasting friendship and undying love for each other.
I remember when I invited my mom over to show her my new digs, it was night time and we were carrying a few things inside. Then I heard a noise in the distance that sounded like “whooooaaaaaaaa-wakka-wakka-wakka-whooshh!” I immediately wondered if this was the noise of the bear that everyone was mentioning. Then I heard it again…”whooooaaaaaaaa-wakka-wakka!” She asked, “what’s that noise?” I said “ .” Yeah, I said nothing because I was too busy race walking to the car as quickly as possible. Later in the week I found out that this wakka-wakka ferocious “bear” sound was just the sound of my neighbor’s old air conditioner.
I mistook an air conditioner for a bear!!
After two weeks of minimizing my outdoor time to avoid imaginary bears, enough was enough and I decided not to allow fear to ruin things for me. I’ve seen many instances where people projected their fears and concerns onto others as a way of protecting those who they care about. In some cases, its good to learn from others experiences so that you don’t make the same mistakes, but in most cases I’ve learned that it’s important to discard unfounded fears and not allow them to paralyze you into inaction.
After over half a year in my place, I haven’t seen any signs of wild, rabid animals (besides the occasional overzealous mosquito trying to attack me). Also, I did some solid, non-fear based research to ensure my safety and it turns out that bears don’t like my home as much as I do, so there’s nothing to worry about. I’m happy that I was able to get rid of this bear fear quickly so I could get back to enjoying life in my bear-free home! Now, if I can only figure out how to get these deer to stop walking around my neighborhood like they own the place, that would be splendid!