Fear and vulnerability are doing a real number on me right now. I am feeling totally exposed and vulnerable because one of my biggest fears is standing right in front of me, daring me to take it on and I am quivering emotionally like a scrawny child being confronted by a rather large and fierce-looking bully.
This bully of fear has a beefy face and a massive chest. Its arms look like ropes of steel and its fingers clench and unclench, awaiting the opportunity to attach themselves to any part of me that they can reach.
What this bully does not know is that I am not only going to confront it, I am about to rip its head off and dance on its ugly body. Because I am no longer that scrawny child who stood helpless on the playground as I was taunted and beat up by those bigger and stronger than I. I know now what I had no knowledge of as a child and that is this: If you acknowledge your fear and speak it out loud, it immediately loses its power and has to hand it over to you. What you do with that power then is up to you.
Now that I am standing on the neck of my fear, I can tell you what it is.
The thing that I am fearing right now is me. I am afraid that the me that I am today will not measure up to the me that I used to be. Before I was laid low by all of the calamity that befell me four years ago, I was confident. Dealing with one loss after another took a tremendous toll on me, however, and ever since then, I have struggled with self-confidence. (I mean, I know who God is, and I am confident in Him. But when it comes to myself, I’m like, “Who the heck are you?” ” “What makes you think that you have something to share that other people need to hear?” “My writing is trite and uninteresting.”)
On the one hand, I know from an intellectual standpoint that I can write, and write well. From an emotional stanpoint, though, is a completely different story. Because writing comes so easily to me, doubt has always hounded me, whispering to me that my writing is trite, irrelevant, and has no impact. I was always afraid that I was pulling rabbits out of a hat and that one day that hat would disappear and the world would know me as a fraud.
I say fraud because I began writing out of happenstance. I had not planned on writing, neither had I thought of myself as a writer. I just happened to write a note to a friend one day when I was in a hurry. I was encouraged to start a writing business based on that note, and the rest, as they say, is history. A part of me wants to shout to the world, “I’m not a writer! I am only expressing what I feel when I write to people, and that’s really easy for me, so it’s not really writing!” So, you can imagine the monsters that are coming out of the closet as I write this blog. Because writing again is stirring up all the old doubts and my shaken confidence in myself only adds more fuel onto the fire of uncertainty that is presently blazing all around me.
Tonight, I am uncertain whether I will crash and burn if I continue writing. One thing I DO know, however, is that it’ll be one spectacular spectacle if this writing plane goes down. Because I believe in doing everything with passion and style. Nope. No nose-dive into the ground for me. I plan on doing quite a few flips and curliques and then go out with an explosion worthy of “World’s Most Spectacular Crashes” videos, which I will then sell on Ebay.
I believe in making the most of everything. I’ll be darned if I let fear get the most of me.