Don’t Be Afraid of The Stars Anymore

When we pulled up to our new home in a small town in the pitch dark, I was overwhelmed by the size of the moon and the sky blanketed with bright and scary stars. I remember closing my eyes quickly and getting nauseous. My heart began to race and my mom became concerned about my breathing. I gripped my backpack as my sister led me inside this empty new house and sat me on the floor. When she asked what was wrong, I answered. She laughed. So did everyone else. 

I grew up in New York City where the sight of stars were rare and the glow of street lights were comforting. There was always night but it was never dark; The city never slept. Our small apartment was surrounded by tall buildings that blocked the moon from my vision. I’m not saying that I didn’t know that the moon existed. I just didn’t care to know its existence. Until, I left the city that did so well with closing me in from the big scary world outside of it. 

I was afraid of the stars. The sound of gunshots in the streets of Brooklyn daily couldn’t make me flinch. Laying still on the bedroom floor, pretending like we weren’t home while rioters looted stores and apartments during blackouts was a normal thing. I was like a conditioned deer to the dangers of my environment until twinkling starry nights brought me to my knees. The sight of the sky’s enormity and it’s endlessness made me lose sleep at night. I was no longer protected by the barriers of New York’s toxic glow. 

For years, my family laughed at me. They would tell relatives and friends but then I met Josh. Our first time alone together on a date was under the stars. I held my eyes closed shut and naturally, he asked me what was wrong. I took a deep breath and braced myself for his laugh after my response. He did, in fact, laugh but at the fact that no one had ever explained to me how great the stars were. He held me by the chin and pleaded with me to open my eyes once more. 

“Don’t be afraid of the stars anymore.” he said. I looked up, panting in fright and then he started to point and name them, one constellation at a time. He told me stories and shared memories. What I remember mostly about that night is how, in that moment, I had forgotten I was afraid at all.

As our relationship progressed (long distance), the moon became our connection. He’d guide me to find the moon and explained that no matter where we were, we were always looking at the same moon. In the Philadelphia nights, we’d going searching for the stars. Walking dark woods to escape the city lights. I learned to love them as I grew to love him. 

I’m no longer afraid of the stars. Love has taught me to look for them. It has given me the strength to reach for them.

10 thoughts on “Don’t Be Afraid of The Stars Anymore

  1. Beautiful story and post (and love the image you did with the painting! Clever!). I know what you mean about the night sky with all the stars feeling endless. All those stars are a from other galaxies, and trying to think about how large the universe is makes my head hurt LOL, but at the same time the sheer size is a bit overwhelming. I feel the same way when I see the ocean or sea because those feel endless, too, but not compared to the universe.

    I think it’s great Josh explained to you how great the stars are. Like you, I live in a city that never sleeps, and like NYC we don’t see much of the stars either. There are times when I wish I could see the stars, but I’ll probably have to go out to the countryside to do that.

    Thank you for sharing this story, Joy! <3

  2. I think living in a big city has had the opposite effect on me. We don’t see many stars back home, so I always jump at the chance to see the endless sky lit up not by city lights. This was a beautiful post! I love that your love overcame your fear, and now you have grown to love the stars as well. Love is pretty awesome 🙂

  3. I was afraid of the moon when I was a child. I’ve gotten over that fear but I still feel very nervous when I look at it through a telescope.

    I’m glad you’ve gotten over your fear and have made a connection with the stars. 😀 They really are so beautiful.

  4. Beautiful! I grew up in the countryside and when I moved to the city I missed being able to see the stars at night because of the air pollution. I also missed having somewhere to sit outside to look up at the night sky.

    Then one night shortly after we moved to the outskirts of the city, I went into the garden, looked up at the sky and three were the stars. The sky seemed to be covered. It was so beautiful and it was just another reason to be grateful for our new home.

  5. I was mostly afraid of the darkness, the dark between the stars. There was never enough stars, but this is beautiful. Love can light up the way and become an oath to one another. <3 Beautiful post! Beautiful memory to have! Never be afraid of the glorious stars <3

  6. Aww so sweet. I love you two! I was a bit overwhelmed when I came to Florida. I have never seen them shine so bright. But … I wasn’t scared of them. I was excited to finally be able to see them. I was always frustrated with the city because I couldn’t see the night sky I loved so much and felt a special connection to.

  7. I get like this about too much green grass. It’s really weird – whilst London does have it’s green areas, it is nothing compared to the countryside. When I went to visit a relative who lives in the countryside, I literally couldn’t handle it. So much mud, and grass D:

    You and Josh are relationship goals. I love that he totally understood your issue and didn’t laugh at you. I’m glad that Josh has help you overcome your fear of stars. They really are very pretty 🙂

  8. Aww, this is a beautiful story! I’m glad Josh made you love the stars now 🙂 I wish I could see the stars more often. Even though I don’t live in the city, there’s still too much light pollution in my area. I think it’s sweet that Josh didn’t laugh at you and helped you with your fear!

  9. I grew up in a place that we could see stars so easily but now in the city it is hard. I love your story with Josh. You guys are so romantic and lovely, I am so glad you guys found eachother!

    Gaze on !!

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