“Fear doesn't shut you down; it wakes you up”
It wakes me up everyday.
And it's not something that comes natural to us. I thought it was. You probably thought it was, or still do think it does, but it doesn't. Fear is not natural. It may be super easy to not trust someone, or, anyone in that matter (if we're real jacked up) because we're afraid they'll hurt us or betray us or dick us over in some fashion. It may even be the plight for most in the world cause it is in fact scary out there. A lot of people have lost their minds. It's easy to be scared but it's also just as easy to store some faith in humanity too, and in ourselves. We just have to remember what it is we unlearn everyday.
We have to make a u-turn. We have to go back to love... and that's the hard part.
The easy part is NOT turning around and going back. It's not being brave and taking those big risks that could change our life for the better. The easy part is sticking to what already works for us even if it's a bad attitude or a mediocre and horrifically boring career because, well, it works for us! Actually it works against us.
You see, fear is always hungry. It's morbid obese actually and it's favorite main course is our soul, but we forgot because it's just so damn easy to be afraid - of change, failure, success. You name it. You'd think we were born this way, but we weren't.
We just forgot.
Some might say.... What? What do you mean I forgot? I didn't forget anything. I'm not scared! I'm rational. I'm logical. I'm realistic. I'm well advised. My therapist told me not to. I'm rich! I'm poor. Hell, I've even got a 401K dammit! I hate my job, but still! I'm wise! Just look at my car!
Oh no you're not wise and wisdom is no place to hide, and neither is your new car, if you're just giving fear little nick names - smart being one in particular that comes to mind. The word smart is more of a pseudonym than it is an adjective and I've had my share of run-in's with this fun little alias. Because I'm smart too! Just like everyone else.
Or, am I?
There was a time when I thought I was really smart. Smarter than most. Smarter than my parents that's for sure. I thought it was smart to drop out of community college because I wanted to be a rock star. Who needs a degree to write a great song? I didn't, and I wrote a lot of great songs. I'm tooting my own horn because why not? Fast forward to fifteen years later in Los Angeles and I'm dancing on a pole in a black bikini to the Rolling Stones. Stripper shoes in the air, dollars too. It rained twenties on the right nights, and hell if I wasn't gonna be a rock star then I was gonna make money dancing to all they're songs. And I did. Yeah. I said it. I'm writing a TV show about it too because I'm smart, finally! No shame over here. I worked at Jumbos Clown Room, a dive rock bar with a juke box smack dab in the heart of Hollywood. They're was no taking off of the top. We were burlesque dancers in glittery costumes and skimpy bikinis - boas and hats, canes and whatever else we wanted to throw at people who didn't tip. I wore an old blue jean jacket that said "Rock Star" on the back, how ironic. I would rip it off when the song peeked and then throw it across the stage like a vixen who left her gun at home - standing there mid-stage in only that infamous black bikini and those (did I really end up in these) fishnet stockings. And hooker shoes. Can't forget about the hooker shoes! Grandma would be proud. Mine had black electrical tape holding up the straps. I'm not gonna lie. I looked hot, even with the black electrical tape on my shoes. And God I was exhausted, and miserable. I hated it, every second of it. Surely there's more I could be doing with my life, I thought to myself every second of the day. I wasn't sure how smart I was either after a certain point. This is compromising my spiritual integrity, was my other everyday thought. So why do I keep coming back to it? My other everyday thought.
Am I afraid to do more with myself? Am I afraid to fail? Am I afraid of the unknown? Has this ridiculous job gotten a little too comfortable?
That's when I started questioning my life more, and FEAR. Fear had me thinking I was smart. And that's when I decided to write a film. That's when I decided to listen to my heart and you know what, she's a real sweetie. I'm sure yours is too. My heart told me to get creative. Then she said it again and again until I fucking got creative.
And that looked a little like this: Page 1. Scene 1.
I had never written a film before, but my fear taught me how to. My heart took me to the finish line. She informed me that this is a funny chapter in my life. Don't disregard it, she said. You can hate it, but don't hate it too much. My heart said, laugh! It's not... forever. There's a reason for it. GET CREATIVE. And that's when my brain finally shut the fuck up. At last! I could think... with my heart.
We're not smart until we realize how stupid we are, and we're not free until we realize how incredibly smart we are. Fear is here to teach us that. She's here to wake us up, not shut us down.
We're not born afraid, so don't die afraid. Just make a u-turn.