February 9, 2011 by Crystal Tennille Irby
Fear. You know that thing sitting in the pit of your stomach, eating you alive from the inside out/ that chink in your armor/ that thing you think you’ve conquered then it hits you like a freight train carrying all your baggage and insecurities. I’ve come this far not always by faith but sometimes by fear. Fear if I don’t do it, I’ll live with “what if” forever. You know “what if”, that thing sitting in your brain swallowing your days whole. Fear if I do it, I will fail/no one will listen, care, or understand. I think most artist have that fear. At times I mask it with bravado, pretty words and good performances, as if I’ve completely overcome and have answers. And if I don’t have answers, at least I’ve got the deep philosophical questions, like I ponder life more than the average person, and sometimes I do because I have the privilege of time which can lead to insight and reflection. Then I muster the courage to say it out loud, praying I will first and foremost touch/reach myself and hoping for the strength to be brave enough to live my words/progress/face my demons/embrace my perfectly flawed self, which brings me to this blog. I am a writer partly because that’s what God intended and partly because it’s the best way, for better or worse, I express emotion. Some people express it better through action. My one year old is very good at that but for me it’s words. So I don’t think talk is cheap. Well sometimes it is, when it comes from people who don’t value words. They think words are worthless so they use them recklessly. I think words are what you live by. When I use them viciously, they haunt me. When I struggle with words/when they don’t come out right or at all, I get tight/frustrated/depressed. Good words, give me goosebumps, you know those things that tingle up your spine and on the edges of your skin. I think words are worth something. Perhaps that’s why I don’t talk when I’m extremely angry or extremely sad. I’m searching for words worthy of my emotions. I don’t want to say something empty or cliché. I want to say something true that I can feel which brings me back to fear. You know that thing we hold on to because we are afraid of the unknown/change/progress. At times, it can be healthy. It can serve as a reminder that something is wrong/something is here that shouldn’t be or I’m somewhere I shouldn’t be. Sometimes that’s about life/sometimes that’s about a relationship/sometimes that’s about a stranger or someone you know. But sometimes, fear can be stifling. It will out right wrap its hands around your throat and strangle you to death. It will kick you in the gut, leaving you breathless, steal the sail out of any wind you had, reminding you of your weakness. It will even sucker punch you, hitting you when you least expect it from a direction you never thought to consider. Fear is a relentless creature. It will keep you safe and comfortable all the while killing your soul. It will even keep a writer from starting a blog because she’s afraid no one will read it. So for me, this blog isn’t about readers anymore, it’s about me. It’s about being brave and sometimes that just means saying things out loud. Even when no one else is listening, reading, or cares, I hear myself.
So here’s to the day/the night/real deep butterfly love/life/dreams, and whatever else it is we don’t embrace because we think we are not worthy which can ultimately be traced back to fear. You know that thing keeping you in your box because you think no will listen, understand, care or even worse judge you. Well here’s to letting that go…