Fear. Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of looking like an idiot. Fear of looking like an asshole. Fear of screwing everything up. Fear of tragedies and calamities unknown. Fear of loss. Fear of pain. Fear.
The women in my family all run to anxious. It is genetic. Anxiety coursing through our veins right along with the red corpuscles. Hair trigger fight or flight responses, flooding our bodies with adrenaline at the most inopportune moments. Worry woven into the very fabric of our beings.
The women in my family also run to courageous. We don't give up. We stand, undaunted by the cloud of anxiety ready to roll in and smother us, at the first sign of trouble. We carry on every day building lives and families and ourselves, even when every step is haunted and hunted by fear.
I've been thinking and talking a lot about fear, as I venture on this journey of making art. Facing my fears of inadequacy and failure every time I sit down at a blank page or canvas. There is nothing there... no props or subterfuge to hide behind, just you and your own creativity. It is hard. It is humbling. It is exhilarating.
Everyone has fears, even those without the genetic predisposition to anxiety. And I think the trick may be really coming to understand the nature of the beast. The duality of the monster that both protects and traps you. That fear itself is not indicative of lack of character or resolve, but a primal force...important and inescapable. Sometimes to be mastered, sometimes to be accepted and sometimes even thanked.
So I embrace this idea of acknowledging the monster, looking it squarely in the face, and then carrying on. Fear, anxiety and worry will always be a part of me to some degree or other, because I am human, and because I am a human who is wired in a certain way, for better or for worse. But I will not let fear trap me. It can't be my motive, to act or not to act, or my excuse. Anxiety is my uncomfortable companion as I walk my path, but it will not determine my course. I have better companions by my side to help me with the navigation.
(the work above is mixed media acrylic on canvas, 9"x12")
Blow by blow report from our Nov/Dec 2011 Orlando extended family vacation of a lifetime. Set to private to protect our superhero alter ego anonymity, leave a comment here or email me @ email@example.com if you want to take a gander. Disney haters need not apply.