I am 24 years old today, blog, and I am singing this song over and over. Please play it now for empathy’s sake.
On a seemingly random but I promise related note:
As recognized in this older post, I have grown into a Gryffindor. I’ve been thinking about this tonight because I’ve been thinking about bravery. I’ve been thinking about bravery because I’ve been thinking about my birthday. I’ve been thinking about my birthday because 24 is a weird age to feel like. I’ve been feeling weird thinking about how weird I feel, which has twisted the weird feeling into uncanniness, and now the uncanniness has devilishly transfigured itself into a monstrous tsunami of anxiety that, if I REALLY had to pick only 1 word to describe it, feels a lot like terror.
If there’s anything we’ve learned about terror it’s that it goes steady with bravery in all sorts of fantastical adventures.
At the end of 2012 I followed adventure on a Greyhound bus to Atlanta to see Amanda Palmer in concert. I’ve listened to her songs and read her blog sporadically for about a decade, so one can say I’m a fan of hers. Here’s a video to prove it (I come on stage in the blue shirt at 4:40):
In the middle of 2013 I also met Amanda’s spouse Neil Gaiman, who’s no stranger to a fantastical adventure or two. I picked up “Neverwhere” about a decade ago and have read six more of his books and one of his short fiction anthologies since, so one can say I am also a fan. Here’s photo proof of the meeting:
Following the July 2013 signing and my first read-through of “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”, I wrote an extremely personal piece of creative nonfiction–something that I feel I only could’ve written having met two of my favorite artists within eight months of each other. I shared it with only a few select friends, vowed to edit it, then let it be for a little over six months. I could say I was following Gaiman’s advice, but truthfully I’ve just been paralyzed by fear.
This is an author’s fear I speak of, not a writer’s. A writer can live her whole life writing, never share a word of it, and die happy. It’s the author–the author–who feels the need to share that writing with the world. It’s the true author who can surrender her writing to the reader having fully accepted the truth which paralyzes her–that writing was never hers to begin with, it was always a product to be given, it was always theirs, even before the words were set to page it did not ever belong to her.
I made a resolution to share more of my writing in 2014, and this is the fear I must and will face. As a Gryffindor I understand to face my fear is the truest way to achieve personal growth.
This is a song that I sing when I’m scared of something. I don’t know why but it helps me get over it. The words of the song just move me along and somehow I get over it.