“There’s a lot that I’m afraid of,” said the twentysomething-year-old aspiring writer.
In fact, I’m probably afraid of more things than I’m excited for. That statement alone scares me. Toss it on top of the “shit I’m afraid of” pile.
Decisions are frightening and I’ve just made a big one. I thought the anxiety would have dissipated and, to a degree, it has. However, a sliver of fear still smirks at me in the mirror. It still whimpers in my ear as I lay in bed. An inkling of trepidation seems as though it will eternally ring between my ears.
I cannot be afraid of fear. There’s no reason to believe failure or sorrow will ever be completely diminished. Both dread and its counterpart, delight, are emotions that comprise a zero-sum game of life. One sentiment cannot live without the other. For that reason, I am learning to appreciate uneasiness for its antithetical sibling, joy.
All beauty comes with an equal dose of ugly. The ineptitude to realize such a required malevolence could result in everlasting sorrow. The point is that fear is a necessary precursor for success. Life is not a question of “to be or not to be.” It is a question of “to have been, and now what to be.”
An impartial awareness of failure is required to truly come to terms with fear. For the last three and a half years, I have worked in an industry with which I share no common ground. At my core, I am an athlete. A believer not in “practice makes perfect,” but “practice makes better.” Essentially, there is no perfect. There is only progression. I have not seen that in the world of finance.
That’s why I’m investing in my writing. I’m attending school to develop a creative portfolio as a copywriter. To me, it’s more than that though. To me, it’s a opportunity to quintessentially explore the depths of my creativity. To stretch my mind to an echo-filled corner of creative thinking that deserves a voice. It deserves a sound. It deserves a chance.
It’s a huge risk. I have a degree in finance from a four year college (Uconn...go Huskies!). Majoring in finance doesn’t typically yield much creativity. That is, of course, unless you’re thinking of “yield” in terms of interest rates. See? I even turned a boring finance term into a pun. Writer problems.
Twentysomethings, like myself, commonly overthink anxiety, which results in more anxiety. It’s not a vicious circle, but more of a vicious vertical asymptote.
We overthink and overanalyze decisions in the first quarter of our life that have virtually no impact in the final quarter. We yearn to be heard when, sometimes, it feels more appropriate to think quietly and more acutely hone our voice before it reverberates broadly throughout the world.
It’s fine to overthink. It’s okay to personify yourself as a vertical asymptote for anxiety and fear. I do it all the time. Yipee.
In all seriousness, life isn’t fun without fear or anxiety. Many of life’s treasures are glistened by fearfulness. Examples include dating, education, career, love, and family. A few things that epitomize the complete avoidance of fearfulness? Well, those include complacency, regret, envy, and “what ifs.” It’s clear to me that being afraid to fail is the biggest failure of all.
All in all, fear is simply an ordinary emotion. Overcoming that fear is an extraordinary reaction.