Do you remember this? As a kid I used to look for Waldo all the time. It was the perfect book for road trips, or when you finished a test at school early. Waldo must have made a fortune of of a very simple idea: Draw a bunch of different scenes, put a guy in there somewhere, and repeat, a bunch of different times with different colored book covers. Genius.
My son Harper has started asking us to come to the bathroom with him, because he’s scared. I don’t really know if he’s just heard that from somewhere else, or if he’s actually scared, but that’s his thing right now. He’s scared of monsters, he says.
I don’t know if the Boogey Man is still a thing for kids or not. I figure, “Hey kids, do ya’ll know all about the Boogey Man?” is probably not the best conversation starter for my young children.
Keanu Reeves starred as professional killer/revenge man in John Wick, fearfully known as Baba Yaga (which is an awesome name) which is apparently the Slavic version of the Boogey Man, so, maybe he’s still around. I remember as a kid, being afraid of things at night, and asking my parents to check in the closet, or under the bed.
When I got a little bit older, and I didn’t want to admit to my parents that I was afraid, I would check the closets and under the bed myself. No doubt, between my childhood and the children of my generation, the Boogey Man has been searched for in just about every nook and cranny. With all of this searching, in all of these houses, all across the country (and world, Baba Yaga), you’d think he’d turn up at some point.
We never opened the closet, and said, “Yep, there he is, right where you thought he’d be.” To my knowledge, there has been no reported finding of the Boogey Man.
He’s never been found. Despite all of the searching. Despite all of the fear.
Maybe I’ll lock the bedroom door tonight and sleep with a crowbar after saying this, but I believe that the answer to “Where’s the Boogey Man” is:
He’s not there.
There is no Boogey Man.
But we sure do spend a lot of time looking for him and convincing ourselves that he’s hanging out in our closets.
If you look long enough, you can find Waldo. He’s in there, I promise.
But look all you want… the Boogey Man will not be found.
I’m not a big enough man (yet) to live by this creed. But it sure is interesting to consider. And it certainly applies to our own, adult Boogey Men.
“What’s on the other side of fear?”
I’ve heard people answer, “nothing”.
I don’t know if that’s true. Again, maybe I’m just not enlightened or tough enough to say that and believe it.
What I am willing to answer, is this:
Maybe just more steps to take along your road.
Maybe your hopes, dreams, or goals. Maybe your future.
I don’t really know the answer to that any more than I know the answer to “What’s on the other side of tomorrow?” I do know, that whatever it is, it’s not the end to your story.
It’s not the final judgment, or life defining failure that you think awaits.
It’s certainly NOT the Boogey Man.
It’s time we quit looking for our Boogey Man. He’s not really there. Get on with it.