Oh. My. Gawd. Is it ever terrifying.
Two weeks ago, I wasn’t sure I was going to make my rent.
Now I’m just $870 short of paying my $3500 tuition. I’m more than 75% there, thanks to so much generosity and support.
Don’t get me wrong – I am overjoyed.
But I don’t quite know what to do with myself. It is so much change, so quickly. I have spent 10 years in battle mode, struggling onward.
Suddenly, lovely things are falling into my lap left and right. I feel like I got lucky, even though I know I’ve spent many years working excruciatingly hard to get here.
Someone asked me if I’ve got a horseshoe stuck up my ass. It’s kind of what it feels like. I think I might buy a lottery ticket today. (Kidding.)
To everyone else, it’s obvious that I deserve this. To me, it’s not so obvious. Honestly? I keep waiting to wake up and for it to all disappear.
I keep worrying that if I don’t work hard enough, it’ll get taken away.
I am terrified that I’m still not good enough to pull this off, and that it’ll all fall apart at the last minute.
I’m afraid that the Universe will realize it’s made a terrible mistake and my lovely dreams will turn back into pumpkins.
Most ridiculous of all – I’m afraid that because I’m afraid, I’m not doing this “success thing” right.
All of which means that I am ecstatically happy, but terrified of being so. I don’t want to jinx this. It doesn’t feel real. So I’m often tied up in knots – worried, scared, and unsure of how to trust this feeling.
I don’t do well with change. I know that. My entire world has flipped itself on its head in the space of 13 days. My life has changed. I have changed. I stepped up and began to believe in my art and the power that it has to change people’s lives. I finally began to see how the work that I do is important and vital and inspiring.
I began to see how myself, and what I do, has value.
The thing about suddenly developing inner confidence is there’s a backlash. The fear is the backlash.
Every single part of me that wants to remain safe, that doesn’t want to get hurt, that doesn’t want to hope because hope is so exquisitely painful, has come out of the woodwork and is running around with its hands in the air screaming, “MAYDAY! MAYDAY!”
I want to believe in all of this so badly. But it hurts to hope.
It’s sort of like when you go to a matinee movie, and you emerge from the darkness of the theatre into the bright light of day and the light hurts your eyes. You automatically shut them again. You give yourself time to adjust.
I think I just need time to adjust. The brightness of my future – the brightness of possibility – well, it’s a little too much right now. It hurts. I want to hide under my bed for a while, maybe with a bag of cookies. And a bottle of whiskey.
So today, my hug is for every person whose dream came true and then went to hide in their bathtub for a while.
My hug is for every author who got a book deal and then promptly threw up.
My hug is for everyone who’s ever done something huge, and then got really, really ill right after.
We are multi-dimensional human beings. It is totally possible to be terrified and ecstatic at the same time. I know I’m still happy because whenever I start to talk about France, I can feel myself light up and this really stupid grin shows up on my face. I also lose all ability to speak coherent sentences. I just keep saying, “Man, it’s going to be so awesome.”
But I’m still scared. I’m still spinning my wheels a bit because this is new and I’m not sure how to move forward. I’m figuring things out, a bit at a time.
You’re allowed to be terrified. That’s a normal, natural human response. Change is scary – even good change. We don’t know what’s expected of us. The bar has been raised, and what if we can’t meet those expectations? We need to learn new behaviours; there are new challenges, there are new possibilities.
It’s a big scary world out there, even when it’s what we want.
I’ll finish this with the Marian Williamson quote, because she says it better than I can:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
That about sums up how I’m feeling right now. I can see my own power and it is frightening. Geez, someone might actually expect me to do something with that.
If you’d like to help me continue to freak myself out, I would really appreciate that.
I still have to raise another $870 by Tuesday night. Did I mention that if I raise the money by noon on Tuesday, I’ll record myself singing karaoke? I feel like that should be incentive enough to help out.
And just to make this more awesome, the wonderful artist Christopher Pew is selling 3 of his very special pieces for just $300 to help me get to France. One’s already sold, so I’d move quickly. Click here to buy a painting from him.
Thank you so much for all of your support. I’m not really looking for advice on this – I’ll adjust, I just need time. But hugs, as always are appreciated. And of course you know I’m sending a gigantic hug right back atcha. 🙂