It took a lot of guts for me to get up on stage last night at the open mike. I am the bravest coward I know. Once in high school a friend wrote a report and described a person who was afraid of everything. Someone else in the class said, “Hey, that’s your friend, Suzy!” Her report was about me, I found out later. I wasn’t afraid to bitch slap the friend who used me for her report, I’ll tell you that.
But seriously, do I use the words “bitch slap” too often? I actually look for places I can insert those words. Like above – I did not bitch slap my friend. I just never spoke to her again. Same thing, but, in my mind, it doesn’t sound as funny as bitch slap.
I am afraid of everything. I’m especially afraid I’ve written about this topic before, because every time I do something I can’t believe I had the nerve to do, I always want to tell everyone about it. Maybe I like to show that even though I’m timid and shy and a scaredy-cat, I’m not afraid to act, so you better not mess with me.
I have been in scary situations that people think I’m making up, but usually it’s because I have no other choice. When I’m doing something brave, my hands are shaking, my voice is shaking (if it shows up at all), and I’ve got “Sissy Girl” written all over me in my body language – fidgeting, crossed arms, shaking leg, slouching – I’ve got ‘em all. If I don’t, it’s because I remembered reading that these were signs of fear and I try to counteract them. Here’s a site that has some of them if you are nodding your head right now and thinking, “hmmm, I do that stuff all the time…” www.ehow.com/how_2383301_read-fear-body-language.html
My biggest fear, however, is that fear itself will keep me from doing something. Like going onstage. I sat there trying to talk myself out of it, but in the end I knew I had nothing to lose except pride, reputation, a few years of my life from a heart attack, and my mind. Down at the heart of it, though, fear alone was the only reason for me not to go onstage.
I battle that day and night – whether new people will like me at a party (they seem to, but I’m ALWAYS afraid they won’t), whether people will read this blog (I have a bunch of site members, but there’s a constant fear that I may lose my sense of humor), whether I will trip and fall on my face, say something stupid, hurt someone’s feelings, forget an appointment, do something embarrassing – you name it, I’m afraid of it.
But I keep saying to myself, “Just keep on doing it. Just show up. Just try. Just do damage control if you have to.” And sometimes I say, “Just shut the F up,” when my fears are on the verge of completely derailing me.
Right now, for instance, I’m afraid it’s not okay for me to reveal my fears in public. But you know what I say to that? Screw it. I’ve got to frickin’ post something and this is already written, so screw it. I’m doin’ it!