Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Truth of the Matter

There’s so much we don’t talk about, invisible audience. The list of people I know that post happy things on Facebook while suffering from anxiety attacks, depression and huge emotional upheavals is endless. The number of people I know who bought houses and feel weighed down by the responsibility instead of lifted up by it – and are unaware that anyone else ever feels this way – is long. The people who contacted me, both privately and publicly after my post on depression, telling me that I had said something they couldn’t say out loud, was almost staggering. And yet here we all are – me included – doing our best to pretend nothing is wrong.
There are many, many things going right for me these days. I’ve been looking back through old journals, and realizing how much better my life has become in the past few months. I have realized how tired I was, how defeated I felt, how bruised and battered I had been. Sometimes, it is only by walking out of this pain that it finally becomes possible to see it for what it really is, and to realize how much of that pain I handled alone, simply because I was sure that no one else could possibly be as insecure, afraid, foolish, or as ignorant as me.
I don’t necessarily feel this way now, but I wanted to share something that I wrote for my book. Every time I read it it makes me cry, because it is so chock full of my own personal truth. I wanted to share it with you, invisible audience, because so many of you have reached out to me – making yourselves visible – to tell me that you, too, feel the way I do; that I am not alone, and that sometimes what I share makes you feel less alone, too. 


“There’s a point that no one really talks about in the life of someone who leaps for a dream. Well, it’s talked about, but from the other side of it, when it is over: the period of time when you are alone with your thoughts, with your project sitting in front of you. It is the time that it feels like no one believes in you except you, and that’s only sometimes. It’s the time that you’re sitting in front of your laptop, typing out one word at a time, without knowing for certain whether those words will ever be seen by a single other person, and, if they are, if those words will mean anything to them.
It is the period of time that you have carved out of what could otherwise be a stable life to sit alone and create. This is the scariest point.
You are taking a chance on yourself. You are convincing others – at least half-heartedly; at least through your actions – that you believe you have a project worth making time for; you are investing in yourself with the idea that it will lead somewhere. You are battling with the voice in your head that wonders if this endeavor will lead anywhere, and you are leaning hard against the door that stands between you and the worst critics that keep marching into your thoughts to tell you how crazy you are.
When you get to the other side of this period, everyone congratulates you on a job well done. They tell your story for you: how Stephen King’s family was almost destitute before Carrie got him a huge advance; how the bloodied boxer in the Hollywood movie got to hug his girl and say, “See? I told you I would win.”
On the other side of this period, and from the outside, it seems like this period is romantic and sweet; from inside the moment, it can feel like the burning fires of hell.”

Writing a book is hard, invisible audience. Perhaps it’s not the same for you, but when I go into a book store now, I look at the endless titles, at the paperbacks and hardcovers, and I imagine them: the authors, hunched over their laptops, facing down their fears, typing one letter at a time; creating something out of thin air and making it into a mass of pages that somehow form a long cohesive thought that someone else can pick up and enjoy.
This can apply to anything: musicians, athletes; anyone who makes a decision based not on what is safe, but on what speaks to their soul. It is terrifying, and exhilarating, and it is not talked about enough.
My fear is not what makes me different. My fear makes me human. Perhaps it is natural to feel alone in my fears, but the quickest way to diminish them is to admit that they’re there. By doing this, I take away the power that fear has had over me. Sometimes, all it takes is someone else saying, “I feel the same way.” Sometimes, all it takes is assurance that I am not alone. 

Love and not alone kisses,
Morgan