Fear: prison for your dreams

Fear. It’s a peculiar thing. It’s not something you can see. You can’t touch it. It makes no noise. Yet, it can be quite a powerful and debilitating presence in your life.

For years, I’ve wanted to be involved in community theater and for a short period of time I attended acting classes. It was fun and I really enjoyed it. However, when it came time to actually “act” or “speak” on camera, I stopped going to class. Throughout my life, this has been my modus operandi. I will enthusiastically pursue an interest and then only take it so far. My progress stalls. Something inevitably stops me from going to the next level, from being the best that I can possibly be, living full-out, going for it full-bore and unabashedly, pedal-to-the-metal, lettin’ r rip and reaching for the stars! I’ve done it with my artwork and drawing. I’ve done it with my love of photography. I’ve even done with my ballroom dance lessons. And, I’ve been doing it with my book.

As I’ve mentioned in an earlier blog, I am writing a book. I’m not sure whether to dub it my memoir(s) or my autobiography. An autobiographical memoir? I don’t know. The definitions via my Google search were not clear enough for me to decide. Or, is the sneaky fear mongrel throwing another cleverly disguised slow bump down to impede the release of my creativity unto the world?

Recently, the universe graciously responded to my request of bringing a book editor into my life: a very kind man who has offered to read my manuscript and edit it as needed. Or, in the alternative, he will direct me to an editor-type person better suited to my written works. I was supposed to have sent him several pages of my manuscript this past weekend. I have not done that — yet.

I’ve typed nearly 100,000 words in my book draft and it’s not far from its completion. Although, it has become apparent to me that I may be looking at a series of books. You know, since it’s based on my life and all. It’s funny. It’s heartbreaking. And, sometimes jaw-dropping. It contains many details of my life that I’d never told another living soul. Well, that is, until recently when I opened up to my loving husband, sharing some of those long-kept secrets.

I dream of my book’s completion as well as its publication and release into the world for others to read, enjoy, scrutinize and even judge. What an unnerving feeling! Yet, it is one of my deepest desires. My story, my true story, may hold that single passage that helps another human being with their internal struggle, perhaps the one which no living soul knows about. I love this quote, “What people think of you is none of your business.” Then, why do we care so much about something that is none of our business and allow it to hold us steadfast, merely one step away from realizing our dreams?

Just this morning it occurred to me: I can do this once, rip off that bandaid and say, “To heck with this fear,” and ultimately silence it for good; or, I can live with this feeling every day — for the rest of my life — and continue to be held back, stuck, basically trapped by this invisible force, never growing, changing, or learning. Do you get that? Live with it every day, that’s 525,949.2 minutes each year — FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE — or, I can take that one freaking step, or a jump, just one single action that takes a whole millisecond and which could ultimately obliterate this fear-based barrier. There’s only one first leap, and it is the hardest one. I believe that once I take that leap, opportunities and blessings will spring forth with as much force as a breaking dam. I’ll essentially be breaking the damn barrier, and be on my way to realizing my dreams.

I may look back at this hurdle and think to myself, Hmm, that wasn’t so scary after all.

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