Bravery is not the absence of fear, but the will to overcome it. — Some wise person
So Nanowrimo is over.
Surprise! I failed on the goal novel but did write over 100k for a new fanfiction that will ultimately likely never be finished. It is incredible to me how easy it is for me to start a story and how hard it is to finish one.
I had a great conversation with a dear friend of mine and Alteringviews and had a bit of an epiphany in the hours after.
I am afraid.I am afraid of success, of failure, of disappointment, of wellness, of sadness, of losing weight and a whole host of other shit that I can’t name right now because it would take some real soul searching.
I am a scaredy-cat and a disgrace to every lion known to man. (I’m a Leo.)
And somehow, I’m okay with that.Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to stay afraid and I wasn’t always like this. For a solid, sixteen to nineteen years If my life I was a fucking go-getter. If I wanted it, I worked until I got it: college, straight As, losing weight, an escape from Chicago, you name it.
Sometime after college, after being the workforce, I sat down and lost my edge like Riddick lost his edge, his primitive side, hanging with the Necromongers. I got soft literally and figuratively, a lot of things caught up with me and existential questions started popping up.
Then, it became it doesn’t matter.
Then, nothing mattered and that’s kind of where I am right now.
I’d like to set my heart on something new and not be afraid to accomplish or fail at it. I’d like to be free of all that fear large and small. I’d like to matter to me again, but I also understand that it isnot going to happen overnight.It was a long road of scratching and crawling, losing bits of myself and my wants along the road of survival to get here. It’s a long path to retrace the steps and pick them back up knowing how painful and heavy it all is.
Part of what brought this up is a challenge that Alteringviews proposed to me earlier this year: write a novel and send it off to a publisher. The novel is written, but I can’t sit down and force myself to edit it. It’s part one of a thirteen-part series. Part one is written, part two was supposed to be Nanowrimo, but I didn’t have the juice for it. I’ve got bits and pieces of other parts written, but no full drafts yet.
In the recent conversation, dear friend, let’s call her the Daughter of Italy, was describing her ups and downs in life. She said she gets a million and three ideas to sculpt, to draw, to write, etc and when she gets ready to sit down and do it she asks the existential Why and it kills the creative vibe.
I can’t tell you how many existential questions I ask on a daily basis and how often I don’t answer them. I have a tendency to ask and then do something that does not draw out an existential question. Lately, writing fanfiction has been it, but writing, in general, has been an emotional crutch for me.
We talked about happiness with another friend, we’ll call her The Shenanigan, and she was talking about how in her home country survivalism is the basis of most decisions in life and there just isn’t time to think about the fulfillment aspect of life, so you have a culture of highly successful, functioning depressed people.
As I am writing this on a night shift in the college library as tech support, I think about how much survival has been at the forefront of my mind my entire life and how much fear of not survival is at the heart of all my other fears. I think about how much I lost to what I considered survival at any given time. Fear of taking a break because there is no money coming in even though I am not living on the dredges of my savings. I lost a sense of worth in what I like to do. It’s a big one rooted in seeing people in my life fall into or remain in financial ruin.
Running into temp work and crazy hours because some money coming in puts me at ease a bit. Not being able to sit down and relax is a fear of dealing with all the other shit I don’t deal with and should see someone about.
Fear of sending off the book because rejection, disappointment, and success are scary. Commitment is scary. Life is fucking scary!
Hell, survival is scary.
What if no one wants to read it? What if it never gets published? What if I am not as great of a storyteller as I think? What if I can’t make a living as a writer, and I’m stuck in an office job? Would that really be so bad? Was I really miserable at the office? What if I can’t get another office job? What if I’m too broken to do any of that shit because of all the shit I’m not acknowledging?
It’s all fucking irrational because I have fallback plans that are solid as fuck! I’m not going to end up destitute. My tolerance for office bullshit and hours is well substantiated. I wasn’t happy, but I wasn’t miserable. I was complacent and bored as fuck. As Alteringviews would say, the only thing I would ever pay top-dollar, hour, or soul for is peace of mind. If I had to go and get a job to make sure I got to eat, I could do it and would do it gladly.
It’s all fucking irrational nonsense, I know this and I am usually a very logic, practicality driven person.Thus, thee thoughts should follow:
- I want to write, draw, and create for a living.
- I am in a financial position to forego getting a full time or substantial part time job for more than a few months.
- I have a talent for number 1.
- I should, therefore, be working towards number 1.
But that is not what’s happening. So what’s keeping me from doing anything?
Knee jerk answer: I don’t feel like it. I’m unmotivated.
Maybe a more thoughtful answer: it’s too hard and I am tired of doing the hard shit when there are easier paths.
Deeper answer: I’m afraid of failure as much as I am afraid of success because both will change everything.
Deepest answer for now: I have no real confidence that I can do much of anything because my self-esteem and worth are so far down in the gutter Lucifer is using it to level out his kitchen table.
Alteringviews and I had that I am tired of walking unchartered roads talk. We have it often. I have been the outlier in the worst and best of ways so has she. Looking back, it’s been a fight every step of the way and I ain’t sure that I have it in me to fight anymore even if I have a glimmer of a will to do so. I get blinding flashes of inspiration all the time. I have creative interests that I believe in and surface confidence that could get me far, but there’s always that voice that says you can’t, not good enough. It’s like my overachieving has inverted into no achievement or put up a permanently closed sign.
Maybe it’s depression, but I’m beginning to think that my exhaustion is getting in the way of getting rid of that fear. Does it make sense to fear being rid of fear? I don’t know, but I know I hopefully have a long time ahead of me to figure it out. To everyone that may be identifying with at of this, I hope you find your bravery before your fear turns into a cage from which there is no escape and you lose all sense of will for greatness to time and old age. I hope we all find our Eowen moment against our fears and issues and stab them in the face.
Thanks for listening.
What are your dreams? Are you working towards them? How are you handling your fears?