Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fear

Ever since the young days where I would lay on my mothers’ bed at night and she would pour out to me the fantastic stories created by Tolkien in “The Hobbit”, my mind has been completely fascinated with the art of story-telling. And that deep fascination has carried into the way that I compose myself around friends. My reputation as quite an exaggerator precedes me on all aspects, but contrarily is praised at all angles when my mind delves into the deep files of extraordinary chronicles that have happened at one time or another. Ears will perk up, heads will turn, eyes will become entranced as I gallop on about being chased down a set of rural railroad tracks by legions of angry policemen. Or biking through the flooding streets of Virginia Beach while a storm with hurricane force crashed down upon my companion and I. I can see the reactions and effect it has on whatsoever crowd has gathered to listen to my increasingly tall tales.

As I have gotten older, my love for story-telling has only increased, as well as my desire to use this gift to my fullest ability. I remember doing a research paper my freshman year of high school on the subject of what we as young adults would like to be when we grew older and were slammed with the choice of careers. The most trendy picks such as rock star and model were a popular selection, and there were few students who had actually a genuine love for the career that they had chosen. I decided upon a writer, although I wasn’t yet sure what medium I would be focusing on later in life. The irony of that situation 13 years ago stands staring at me in the face every time I close my eyes on another wasted day of career-pursuit, or when I jot down another hope of an idea for a future blogpost. And it is looking back at me this moment as I gaze dumb-founded at the blinking cursor mocking me on the harsh white screen.

My English teacher, Mrs. Pennsylvania Bradshaw chided and scolded me for not having more direction in my research paper as to what type of writer I would like to become. Her words are echoing off the walls of my small St. George apartment as I sit in bewilderment and frustration at the side-career paths I have walked down currently to keep food on my table and clothes on my back. Hopes and ambitions at becoming a marquee name in the field of writing are almost becoming a lost cause as I quit whistling the Toys-R-Us theme song and begin a life of a career jammed down my throat because the creative soul inside of me is too lethargic to get up and make a name for himself. Sure I have consistently vented my writing urge to this blog for the past year and a half, breaking out random posts that have given my online persona a slight uniqueness. But on the big picture it is nothing to applaud and proclaim one of the greatest single feats of my young life.

I am tired of using humdrum excuses of an infinitesimal group of has-been, could-have been, and never-was writers that were missing that one last push to become something great. To become a Hemingway, or a Tolkien, or Bradbury. The writers who have god-given gifts but are stopped dead in their tracks of excellence because of one simple word.

Fear.

Fear is what prevents us all from becoming something great. Fear is what puts despicable nightmares across our minds and shatters dreams that we have all had about something that we want so very badly. Fear is what tells us that we can’t. That we won’t. That we never will. Fear is the mind’s greatest bully as we intellectually sit on the playground debating whether to stand up for ourselves and hit him back.

My mother used to say that Fear was an acronym for False Events Appearing Real. Is that the truth? Who knows? But what are the thoughts that paralyze us from doing something extraordinary? What are the bone-chilling imaginings that make each and every one of us hopefuls alter our destined position of what we truly want to become?

As I shut the lights off and stare at the ceiling after yet another has-been day gone by, it will eat at me until the sunlight gleams through my window alerting me that another day has arrived. My biggest fear is that my speech will go unheard, my words unspoken, my scripts unread. The thought that my voice will fade away into the deep abyss of unwritten writers does more than just keep me up at night. Will I use this God-given talent for more than just a blog and a semi-entertaining post every once in a while?

Only time will tell.

As the curtain is drawn to a close on the final act of a rather short essay on life and the deeper meanings of it, I can’t help but close my eyes and remember lying on my mother's bed, as I said in the beginning, and lull myself to sleep listening to the grandeur of tales of Bilbo Baggins, of Gandalf and the elven expedition, of the cave of Smaug and the journey deep into the heart of his lair. The hair on the back of my neck stands up straight as I recall the first impulsions to walk down the path of story-telling. Will the fear hold me back, or will I stare into the bullies eyes and give him an uppercut explosion of creativity and excitement that send him roaring away?

It’s a good thing my Dad taught me how to fight.

Or at least, I hope he did.

What do you think?

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