Because this week is my University’s Spring Break, I’ve only just now had the time and space to reassess a couple of things. There’s just something about 90% of a city population abandoning their posts that leaves whoever’s left to think about stuff; it’s an easy enough rabbit-hole to fall into as soon as you think, “Now why is it so many of my friends are at the beach, or with their families and old friends, and I’m not?” And off to Wonderland we go.
I could really digress here about the innumerable things I’ve spend far too long thinking about over the past few days, but that’s really not why I’m writing. The point of this post is that while I’ve had altogether too much time alone, for some reason I’ve avoided publishing anything I’ve written. The cause for this avoidance was unknown to me until I read a particular part of this book I’m traveling through for the third time (it really is a journey, this one), where the author talks about a writer’s block he had experienced some time ago. For him, it was the fear of disappointment that stopped him from writing; he’d written his first two books in 8 months each, but as he wrote the 3rd he also gained some popularity. His third book took a year, his 4th took somewhere around 2, and his 5th took 4. It was then that he realized something was amiss and decided to do some soulsearching.
You see, he was scared of being known through his writings and found wanting, a fear that was present not just in his career as an author but in his relationships, too. Apparently the fear of being known and being vulnerable is a common thing in humans.
Anyway, he made a list of statements in order to begin combatting his fear of intimacy, a list I’m implementing in my life as of now:
- I am willing to sound dumb
- I am willing to be wrong
- I am willing to be passionate about something that isn’t perceived as cool
- I am willing to express a theory
- I’m willing to admit I’m afraid
- I’m willing to contradict something I’ve said before
- I’m willing to have a knee-jerk reaction, even a wrong one
- I’m willing to apologize
- I’m perfectly willing to be perfectly human.