I am afraid. Right now I am here and soon I will be there. I am afraid of there. I’m afraid that I won’t like it there—that I’ll be on the other side looking back with regret. But I stare at there with a mingled sense of dread and excitement.
I’m afraid that I won’t be where I want, that I am foreordained to fall and fail. Fear can hold you back. It can grab you by the ankles and render you motionless. I am standing on this side unable to move. One step in whatever direction could be wrong.
In my writing I am scared and in my life I am scared. I am scared that I’ll always be alone, that I’ll always be the one to care too much, that I’ll be in a relationship for however long just to see it fail. It’s enough to turn me to stone. I am too vulnerable, here, out in the open, this fear makes me want to duck away and hide.
The thought of being here terrifies me. Each year I tell myself I’ll be somewhere different, yet here I am. Each month I give myself a goal, yet here I am. I am stuck in Savannah and the thought of staying here makes me scream.
I am scared of these words that I put down. Their shapes mock me. They rearrange themselves into horrid pictures depicting my incompetency. I hoard them and like a dragon keep them in my lair with pride. But are my treasures trash? Is my writing trash? I am afraid I am no good.
Does the dreamer enter her dreamland? The dreamer is destined to desire, but never see it fulfilled. I am Moses walking circles in the desert; I will not see the Promised Land.
Yet the dreamer dreams, and the writer writes. And I, against my timidity and terror, continue. I stand on the edge and swallow my fear, I may stand here, time frozen and stretched, looking over the edge with doubt, but I will jump.
There is a way to take this emotion—this fear, this doubt, this depression, and let it fuel you. Some days I feel like I can, and that I do. Other days it slips out of my hand, out of my mind. It is not something that can be tamed. The lion lives in my house but is not domestic. It is a wild beast, I fear.