On Fear: Heavens’ My Bench Press

What is fear? Why does our ego clamor more for protection instead of our physical self? Remember when you were a kid and you thought you could fly if you jumped 15 feet from the swing to the ground? You were a daredevil; a snot nosed Evel Knievel, but man…snort milk out of your nose in the cafeteria and you might as well just die the entire school year.

I am currently working on my first one person show (I want to say one man show, but man…a NY lesbian artist put me in my place, tout suite). I am afraid. I am afraid I won’t do the work justice. I’m afraid I’m going to be laughed out the universe, not because of my squishy little ego, but because I didn’t evoke rage, empathy, feeling…shit, something. I should be memorizing text right now, but my stomach rolls in knots every time I pick up the text. My mind wanders and wants to something else, something more quantifiable? One more grant to write. One more email to send. One more person to talk to…but not the pure art itself.

But I admit, I fear something more than rejection and ridicule; I fear success.

Isn’t that weird? To fear the rewards after hours of honing and failing and honing again? Well, I found that I’m not the only one. Many fear success. With glory comes loss. With increase comes decrease. I currently love my day gig; I love the people and the office, but at night I dream of lights, of stage of black walls, scripts and adrenaline when the curtain goes up. I dream of the river Thames. I know that polished standing desk behind keycard locked doors isn’t my final destination. I stare at the nearest door, using my shoestring telepathy to swing it open and jump out to a full run like some Looney Tunes rabbit in drag.

But then the fear kicks in.

Me? Be impoverished…again? Me, the person who is horrible with accents and impersonations? Me? Who am I? Then I remember the War of Art…and the hymn of resistance. I am trying to remember that. Remember what I’m doing this all for and success is okay as long as you give in return. So why not me?

But I’m still afraid. Afraid I won’t be good enough, that I won’t give my new found talent the justice it deserves. Afraid of remaking myself all over. Afraid to tell my husband that I no longer crave the suburban paradise he’s fought so hard just to have a corner of peace, which he so deserves. And it all sits within this book in my hand that I orgasmically love and desperately fear.

Is it self sabotage?I don’t know; I’m trying to learn, evolve and grow, but what does that feel like when progress happens? Is it identifiable?

What are you afraid of and how do you deal with it?

So I sit, take a deep breath and call on my accidental spirit animal, George Watsky. We have a decade, a white collar and a tour bus between us, the struggle is still the same.


Photo by http://myaltardlife.com/