It’s time for me to get out of my damn way. And maybe someone else out there needs to hear this too. Why are you in your own way? Here are the two big questions I am asking myself this morning:
What is holding me back?
Certainly it is not ability, desire, or lack of language. I don’t even think it is a lack of topics to write about. It is true that I teach full-time, I am raising a child, and I have my regular adult obligations. However, I make time for writing and art every day. I write for at least an hour every morning during the week, and much more on the weekends. So what is it then?
It’s fear. It’s self-doubt. It’s self-criticism. All the things I encourage others to let go of. I teach writing all day. I show my students how to get out of their own way. So why is it so hard for me?
Now that I see what is holding me back, I need to pick this fear thing apart.
What am I afraid of?
I think on the surface we are all afraid to fail. But that isn’t really it. Success and or failure with writing can be measured in so many ways. So what really gets my butterflies going is that my true fear is the same thing as my desire. I want to be a “successful writer,” but I am afraid of success, of exposure, of letting it all out there. I am afraid of what will happen if I burst it all out in the open and let myself fly.
Vulnerability is inevitable. I will work on getting more comfortable with that. Because in sharing my work, my thoughts, and my art, I hope to inspire others to let go and share who they are in the world right now.
Show up anyway
So how else do humans document their existence without expression? Let’s mark it down, feel afraid and do the thing anyway. Let’s show up and create because we can and it feels amazing to let go of self-doubt, comparison with others, and what you believe defines success.
Show up with your hair a mess, your chores undone, and your bills unpaid. Bring everything you’ve got with you or leave it all at home. Bring the chip on your shoulder, the love in your heart, the unthinkable loss. Burn it. Rewrite it. It does not really matter as long as we show up for our art and believe in it.
I’m going for it, are you?
© Samantha Lazar 2020