If you are reading this, then something remarkable has occurred. I have overcome my fear and inadequacy to share some of myself with the world. I just got the confidence to start actually reading my poetry to my group I have attended for several years.
A lot of my childhood included never doing anything I wasn’t good at. This included most everything, given I didn’t have experience with much. I couldn’t find the correlation between learning something new, getting experience with it, and then succeeding. I wanted to instantly know how to do it. So what this led to was an attitude of quitting, “If I don’t like it, I will just quit.”
The perfectionist odour of this stinking thinking followed me into young adulthood, where I quit friends I didn’t like, in his era defining work “Generation X” Douglas Copeland talks about this phenomena. If this marriage doesn’t work out, I’ll just get divorced. That level of commitment gets you everywhere in life until you wake up 40, alone, and living in mid-sized conservative city sameness.
Seems the only thing I have never been able to quit is giving up on the fact that belonging only comes to me in the form of outright accepting that I’m an oddball. Something I fail to conceive fully to this day, in spite of Stevie Wonder impersonations and dark poems.
I was put in the world for purposes I could not easily accept, and those around me couldn’t easily understand. Along with my penis envy, imagination, intelligence and perfectionism, was the deep longing. The longing most women fill with dreams of their wedding day, their babies, building lives amongst life long friends. The longing most men fill with making pots of money, finding their wife. For me this longing was never properly handled. I can blame that on external influences, or whatever, but the truth of the matter was that longing like mine was so completely different, I never even realized it.
I never thought I was valid and a deep longing of my heart still today is to be relevant. Heard. And make positive change. My writing of the work, She Was, did that for me like nothing before ever has.
What would you like to do if you could overcome your fear around doing it?