If you’ve ever met someone who’s even a tiny bit successful, you can just assume that they’re well acquainted with fear. If you meet someone who is never afraid, of failure or of the enormity of the tasks before them, of life or something similarly large in scope, then they are liars. Or they are mired in denial.
I’m not talking about phobias or things like that. I mean that existential fear of failure, of not living up to some bar you set for yourself. I’ve spent the better part of three weeks since leaving my job trying to adjust to the fact that every day, a part of me is petrified that none of this will work out. In a way, it’s ironic, because I’ve never failed, at least to the degree of life ruination that I’ve imagined in my head, in anything in life. Really, for me to fail so badly that I’m truly, truly fucked, is kind of hard, assuming I don’t get in some deep shame spiral or run away with all my savings and go to Atlantic City for a weekend (oh man, I do love craps). But everything in my logical brain can see that even if things don’t work out the way I exactly want them (chances of that happening: likely), it is likely that I will find my footing, I will find my way, and life will go on. I’m almost positive that the world will not stop spinning…will it?
Yet that visceral, id-driven emotional part of me spins these wild fantasies of what will happen when all of this is said and done keeps me in a pretty scared state almost every waking moment of the day. And in a weird way, it’s the only thing that drives me to throw myself at the wall harder than I normally wold have stopped. Fear drives me, b/c I just want to defeat it, prove it wrong, to work hard enough that this won’t fail, and in the end, my fears won’t be realized. It’s a winning situation, being that most likely, my life won’t be ruined, and it drives me to work extra hard so that something will hopefully come out of all of this.
So in a way, I am comfortable with the fear. It’s become a daily reminder that I am lucky to achieve the small amount of success I have gotten in any arena. So often, I look at dumb shit like my site stats or things like that, and just stew and wonder why I can’t get more hits, more facebook fans, idiotic shit like that. It takes a slap of reality for me to realize that I should be thankful that the music I make, or things I write, or anything I’m involved in isn’t just supremely embarrassing, that I’m not just totally deluded, like a lot of people are out there. The fear keeps me honest. And that’s really all I can hope to do, give it all an honest effort.
Just keep throwing myself at the wall until there’s a me-shaped hole in it. I don’t even know what’s on the other side; I just know that I want to get there.