Let’s talk about the things I’m afraid of:
- Spiders. Who isn’t? They’ve always freaked me out. The bigger, the scarier. But I’m getting better in this area. There’s a massive one living on the sliding glass doors to my apartment’s patio. My partner and I have named her Lady. (Well, we named her Lady in my dream, but I don’t think that conversation actually took place.) Lady minds her web in the upper left corner and keeps it clean, sleeps through the scorching daylight and comes out as the sun is setting over the pond.
- The Unknown. Again, who isn’t? Not knowing how something will end or where something will go or what someone will say — terrifying. I over-analyze my every action and word before proceeding, constantly worried I’ll cross a line or not explain myself correctly. Because I am also afraid of…
- What People Think of Me. Which I know is silly and futile. You can’t really live while modifying yourself to fit others’ expectations and ideas of acceptable. This is something I struggle with constantly, but it’s particularly challenging as a writer. I’ve been writing for sixteen years (give or take), and I go through phases of “I’m just going to put the words down and that’s that” and “I can’t even begin a sentence because it’s going to be wrong”. And that leads me to my greatest fear…
- Finality. Putting things into the void for others to see has a sense of finality that scares that shit out of me. I’ve tried blogs where I use an alias — doesn’t work. I’ve had this very blog for five years and never used it. I’ve opened it, looked around, played with the themes. But I haven’t used it for what I think WordPress is for: writing. I’m scared to put myself out there, with my real name in the URL and my social media linked to it and my name on display if you hover over my “Gravatar” (whatever that is). Because if you Google my name now, this blog will come up.
Two of my favorite quotes:
- “The only thing you really own is your word.” — I’m not sure where I overheard this or who said it to/around me. But the quote has stuck with me for years because I can’t argue against it. It means everything to me. Don’t say what you don’t mean, don’t promise what you can’t keep, don’t associate yourself with someone’s words that you don’t agree with.
- “Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic.” (Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling) — Dumbledore is one of the most quotable characters in the Harry Potter series, but this is by far my favorite. Words and language are the root of all problems and solutions, pain and healing. You can do everything with words. The trick is picking the right ones (in the right order, with the right punctuation to encourage tone and suggest sub-surface meanings).
All of these bullet points to say I’m going to try. I’m not perfect (and neither is my grammar), but I’m going to start throwing my thoughts and feelings into the world one letter at a time.
Thanks for reading.