I am easing into being a successful author, treading ground untouched before, at least in my family. I am first to pursue this. My only mentors at this time are successful authors whom I've never met. My only guide is a feeling. I have stepped out onto a plank blindfolded.
On the plank is the process of one’s reinvention. At the edge is the surrender of one’s story. The story is what one holds onto in order to justify the life s/he leads, shielding him or her from danger. The story I held kept me from bad things, good things and above all, writing. So I’m walking the plank, a step at a time.
If you find yourself here, be proud, even if you’ve just made the decision without owning a pen or laptop to write your brilliant story. It requires courage to take these deliberate steps. I commend us. Many are intimidated into leaving the plank, being had by none other than our favorite sneaky bastard, fear.
In America, we are taught to treat fear like a form of terrorism. No negotiations. Snub it out. Be fearless and gain glory. I find it ridiculous. Here’s the thing, remember when I said that fear is a sneaky bastard? Well that’s because he is a double agent, tasked to protect the heart. This is why I often touch on the subject of fear. As a creative, my expression is always from my heart. My life is in constant contact with fear.
Fear shape-shifts into logic’s form, slinks up from behind, in the moment you have a brilliant idea i.e. walking the plank. Fear will interject, leaning on a doorway with it’s arms crossed asking "How, how will you do this?” This is where many begin to fold. Fear dismantles dreams just like that.
So does this mean that when it comes to confronting fear, the best approach is to snub it out and keep walking? What about those times when siding with fear saved the day. So fear saves that one time, does it mean one should listen to every time? How does one deal with a double agent, something without clear motive? I just remember who it works for. And we’re both working for the same person, the same heart.
I stepped out on to the plank, blind-folded. Fear, like the asshole it is, lets me have it. Fear goes in on how blind I am (No shit, I’m blindfolded). How female I am. How black I am at the same time. Going on and on about all the things I don’t have. Fear is ruthless like “Wait, why are you getting out of bed again? It is only just the best, safest and most comfiest place on earth.” Fear will go on like “Hmm…so you’re doing all this just to die? Smart.” Then at the edge of the plank, fear goes for the low blow and says “How is this supposed to work? So you already have nothing, then you’re going to go and surrender your story? That’s crazy! Who will you be without your story? Huh? You’re setting yourself up for upset and rejection for something that might not even work? Does that sound smart to you?”
At the edge of the plank is where many turn around and cop a settlement. The terms are something like “Fine, I will not use my life the way I want in exchange for the weekends off and a bi-annual sandwich.”
Instead, I reply: It’s true and you’ve brought some important concerns to my attention. As of now, what you are asking is beyond me. I simply don’t know. But I’m willing to find out for us and I’ll tell you everything you wanted to know after I’ve jumped. In the mean time, feel free to let me know of any other concerns. I value your input. You’re always looking out for my heart. At this point, I can only offer what I know.
I know that the heart is a muscle. I know muscles need exercise to sustain strength. I know I need strength to live. I know that I want to live. I know overcoming failure builds strength. So in that regard, failure is exercise for the heart. I know that the worst that can happen to me is truly unforeseeable. So I won’t focus on that. I’ll leave it for when it happens. I know the sound of music is not seen, but felt. Presence can exist without physically seeing so there is no need to doubt the unseen because is it possible. And I also know that I do not forego my sense of direction because I am blindfolded.
I say all of that to for this: Given that you judge from past experiences and the past is all you have, you cannot fully get behind what I am doing. I don’t expect you to. Keep doing you. Maybe you believe I can live without you. That’s probably where this line of questioning comes from. If that were true, you would be gone by now. But I must thank you for being here. You perceive obstacles. You show me hurdles to hop over and barriers to break through. You make me adapt and become stronger and wiser. You are essential to my heart and my new story to come. So thank you fear. You might take this as facetiousness, but you will know this to be true too, once you see me, successfully swimming in my own liberty.
And that is a good thing. It’s because of fear that I’m walking the plank. Follow me.