I'm not afraid of heights, I'm afraid of falling from them.
It's also a metaphor, albeit an ill-constructed metaphor, which I must confess also seems rather cliche.
But I feel it needs to be said because if you haven't already reached this point, you will and when you do, you need to know you're not absolutely crazy.
Then again, I'm sharing my experience and it's likely I'm a little unhinged so... perhaps you are crazy.
It's okay. We're all a little mad here.
Last Friday it was revealed that I was one of the very lucky ten people to be added as an expansion pack to Geek & Sundry's vloggers. And of course I'm elated, exhilarated--over the moon...
But I'm also absolutely terrified.
There's a weird comfort in failing, I think. Or, rather a part of you does get comfortable with it. You try your hardest and you slide back down.
There's not really a risk if you've already mentally prepared yourself for it.
But succeeding is a different beast. And it's one I've honestly struggled with as an artist. I can't tell you how long it took me to manage a simple "thank you" when someone complimented my work. I had trouble making excuses. I still have trouble making excuses. Criticism was easier to hear. I knew how to filter it, how to use it to improve things.
We create because we enjoy it--and of course we want an audience and we want an audience to like it but once you know people are honestly paying attention, there is a definite feeling of stage fright in that.
Because once you succeed at something--even if it's a small something, the risk of failure seems ten times more petrifying. If you fall on your face, there are more people to witness, if you make a false move, you could damage everything.
Failure means there's work to do. Success means "you got it, now don't fuck it up."
Even though it isn't true, succeeding once seems to take away the freedom to fail any time after it.
It's a scary thought, really. Maddeningly scary.
Or maybe just being scared of doing well seems crazy. I'm not entirely sure. I felt pretty crazy this weekend. Sliding back and forth from dancing for joy and vomit inducing panic.
Admittedly, looking back, I realize that panic was fueled by the emotional stress of needing to finish two major projects before the end of the month while moving and agitated by the physical stress that was the insanity of the Spartan race.
So maybe that's not an entirely accurate observation in this case.
But the point is there is some terror in succeeding in what you're doing. There's a huge difference in the mindset of wanting something and actually achieving it and that's okay. It really is. There's nothing wrong with being scared about it because it means you care--you want it to be good.
And if you care about something badly enough, you probably should be a little scared. Scared you'll mess it up, scared you'll lose it... But that shouldn't stop you from going for it with all of you.
If you haven't got to it yet, deep breath, you will. And when you do remember that being scared of it is completely fine. You're not crazy.
You just care.
I think we need more of that in the world sometimes.