Today’s Realization: I Have Been My Own Worst Enemy

By running away from my passion, I have been running away from God.

I’m afraid. I have always been afraid. It’s why I always dismissed my feeble attempts at fiction. It’s why any time I wrote prose or poetry I never gave it a chance. It’s the reason I blog inconsistently, or will run away from the voice inside my head that rings as loud and insufferable as the most annoying of ear worms: “Write today.”

I’m afraid that I will make a mockery of the art that I admire so greatly. That I will taint the platform that my favorites used to open up the hearts and minds of the world in their time and in mine.

I’m afraid that what I produce won’t be good enough. That I’ll create something that will have others look and say, “How dare she call herself a writer.” So, I don’t—call myself a writer that is.

I spent four years of my life studying the literary canon of authors that ranged from William Wordsworth to John Milton to Octavia Butler, and each piece of literature I studied, each literary analysis I wrote, the more inspired I became to create a work that would leave others just as open as I was. Open to seeing a world vastly different from the one prior to reading the first words on that first page. Open to being in touch with emotions and ideologies that were previously brushed away as insignificant and false.

I wanted to change and create perspectives.

But, self-doubt and a fear of failure constantly prevents me from doing the one thing that I’ve always wanted to do. 

It has called my name since before I can remember. From Junie B. Jones to Lois Lowry and Neil Gaiman in that trailer classroom, gathering around on the blue, carpeted floor to be frightened and enraptured by visions of button eyes in alternate realities that threaten the lives of children.

It continued on to Yann Martel and John Steinbeck, and even to Stephanie Meyer. I could go between Jodi Piccoult and Cicely von Ziegesar before switching to Jane Austen and Nathaniel Hawthorne. I fed myself with stories and clothed my back with diaries that logged what I was reading and how it made me feel.

I’ll never forget not being able to close my eyes until I finished the final installment of the beloved and undisputed champion of all book series (in my eyes), Harry Potter.

Fast forward to University, where I majored in English solely because it was a part of me. What else would I do? Aren’t you supposed to major in the subject you liked? All I know is reading and writing, so English major it is! I explored other subjects that might’ve peaked my interest, and I believed that I could reconcile that major along with a more “job-oriented” study—and I did—for three years. But nothing ever made me feel the way I did when I was reading, and nothing ever made me more happier than to release all that I had gained by spilling words to paper.

I’ve never felt more sure that something was made for me, and yet, simultaneously I run in the opposite direction afraid to attempt because of the risk of failing. If I couldn’t do it as good as the greats, then I shouldn’t make a mockery of it by trying at all.

So, the time has come for me to be honest with myself. I am orchestrating my own demise. My descent into my deepest fear speeds up every day, and I am the one and only pilot in the cockpit. Psychology calls it a self-fulfilling prophecy. It’s ironic, that I am afraid of failing and so I lead myself to failure by not doing what has been placed on my heart to do my entire life.

Writing is hard, but it is apart of me. Writing takes constant work and rework and remastering, but it is what I am meant to do. The more I try to push it away, the louder the ear worm screams as consistent as a church knell on Sunday morning. By running away from my passion, I have been running away from God.

I used to tell myself, and others, that I never allowed fear to dictate my actions. It’s what brought me to where I am now after all. If I allowed my fear of traveling across the world to live without my family and friends straight out of college for an entire year, I would not be living in a reality that had only existed in my mind. Though I made the leap with this secondary passion, my primary remained caged in fear. The time has finally come to let that bird sing freely.

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