Get to it

So. I signed up for this writing course, on an impulse. It’s supposed to provide prompts for writing, guide a writer to connect with authenticity, and help release blocks and obstacles to both. I can’t bitch and kvetch about current affairs and Q-Anon for the rest of my life, so I thought maybe that would be a way to move forward or up or sideways or whatever, in my writing. It wasn’t terribly expensive (they even had a sliding scale, which was nice), and I figure even if they just drop stuff that is regurgitated from somewhere else, almost any prompt will help. Unless the prompts are stuff like “Describe the worst experience of your life” or “Tell about the most cruel betrayal you’ve ever experienced”. I can do that on my own.

The first prompts asks about what is standing in my way right now. Oh, lord. That isn’t actually difficult to name, but difficult to let go. It’s mostly fear…fear of what other people will think of me, that I think I have some competency but I’m wrong. Again. Fear that I am too old to be embarking on this whatever it is…journey? Fear that I’ll run out of money and have to go live under the bridge. Fear that I’m just not worth … and there i was typing all kinds of words, but the one word that embraces ALL of them is … anything. Fear that I’m just not worth anything. I think I can write, at least I can write some things, but it’s not all that…stellar. I want to be stellar at SOMETHING, and feel as though I am merely dangerously mediocre at a couple of things. I suck at far more things, which I’m fine with…I have never aspired to be a competent mathemetician, for example. That’s what calculators and cash registers and banks are for. I have never aspired to be a competent house cleaner, or domestic goddess, or culinary artist. I have, however, aspired to be a competent IT specialist, and a competent … not sure what to call it…artist in the realm of philosphic and musical renderings? That makes no sense. I’ll try again…at this point in my life, I want to be able to write well enough to have my work earn money, sort of likek Pavlovitz or somebody like that. I want to be able to express my thoughts in a way that entices others to read, and ponder, and think a bit…and I want to do that well enough to get paid for it. I don’t need millions, just a little more than basics. See? I don’t know how to go big, but that’s another part of this lack of confidence, a.k.a. fear. So now what?

If fear didn’t stand in my way, if I had the cajones to risk failure, set a goal and stick to it, I suppose I would have a lot more freedom? I would be making money doing something I feel competent to do, and would be compensated equitably. No, screw equitably. I would be compensated well. Very well. I wouldn’t have to worry about ridiculous things like how I’m going to pay for 12 months of health insurance, because I would be making enough to comfortably do that. Just writing all this I am struggling with feeling as though I have a right to say that I want to have disposable income, that I want to not be encumbered by lack of funds, that I want to be able to do what I want to do…like take a long weekend somewhere and stay in a decent hotel, just to see new landscape I’ve always wanted to see. Like buy new furniture that’s what I want and not just what I can afford. Like buy a moderate home (I really don’t want something huge and ostentatious, because it’s too much to clean and maintain), in a neighborhood or area that I like, not just where I can afford. Like buy a GOOD computer and printer and comfortably pay for high speed internet so I can do the writing gig effectively. Like pay somebody to help me clean this crack house of an apartment, or wherever I choose to live. Like be able to eat out or have meal service delivery so that I eat healthy but with variety and don’t have to constantly berate myself for not being a decent cook. Stuff like that. I really don’t care about fine clothes or jewelry, or conspicuous consumption…don’t care about showing off luxury items. Oh, I probably would like to get a decent vehicle…the one I’ve got is nearly 20 years old, although it’s still got plenty of life in it. Just doesn’t have some of the more modern contrivances, like an aux-sound port and glass-bending speakers.

So, those are the big things, I believe. The immediate things. I should probably add more practical things like funeral service and burial plans, but that can show up later. If I happen to wake up dead tomorrow, they can throw me in a hefty bag. I won’t know the difference. I suppose that’s what cold happen if I didn’t overcome this all-encompassing fear. I feel as though I’ve always had it in some form or another…always doubting myself, always avoiding making a wrong choice. Since I was reallly little, too…or at least what I remember of those early years. Some of that could have been my mother’s anxieties, some of it could be just how I’m wired. At this point, I just don’t really care, just want to get on with things. I feel like I have things to say, things to do, and I’m pretty tired of constantly feeling bottled up while being violently shaken (and not stirred). Constantly feeling like I’m about to blow, but…wait…no…just wait for it to die down. I suppose that’s despair – always feeling like you’re on the verge of something wonderful, but never quite getting over the hump…over, and over, and over again. Groundhog day, without the Hollywood budget. That shit gets old.

I’m not sure what I might need to do in order to get over, past, through, beyond the fear thing. I don’t have the self-confidence that I see in people I consider less talented, or sometimes not talented at all. They still get what they want, because they don’t perceive of themselves as untalented, or mediocre, or undeserving. I have always had this primal anger about less deserving (!) people getting what they want, while I feel as though I rarely get what I want. I get what I need, but rarely what I just want…well, at least not on the grand scale of my whimsy. I mean, if I plug away for a bit, and save a few pennies, I can eventually get something I want…like when I bought my 12-string guitar, or even the 6-string that I play so much. But, those were still functions of what I could afford, didn’t want to get all carried away with instruments that cost several thousand dollars or anything like that. I don’t DESERVE all that, right? I wonder who does deserve all that. But I digress. Anyway, I suppose the bottom line is that I don’t have the trust in myself, or the confidence, or whatever the hell it is, to believe that i have a valid shot at being respected for something I do very well. Apparently, I don’t truly believe that I do anything very well. Some things I do better than some people, but I’m not at the top of my game at anything, at least in my own mind. Apparently, my own mind is an issue. Of course, I am glad these days I am dealing with my own mind rather than someone else’s mind…I dealth with other folks’ minds for a really long time, and that got me … here. Bleh.

I suppose I can stop here, at least for a bit. There’s more exploration to do around the issues holding me back, but … it’s Mardi Gras, dammit! I have King Cakes to deliver…and it would be kind of cool to get out of this funky place for just a minute. I hope they are in good shape, the King Cakes I mean…been sitting in an unopened box since Wednesday or Thursday, but I think they’re fine. Still shrink wrapped and everything. If not, people can fucking just sue me.

Me big chief, I gotta shout. Your spy boy tole my spy boy… it iain’t Mardi Gras without this!

Published by annzimmerman

I am Louisiana born and bred, now living in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Fortunately for me, I was already living in NC before Hurricane Katrina decimated my beloved New Orleans. An only child, I now feel that I have no personal history since the hurricane destroyed the relics and artifacts of my childhood. As I have always heard, c'est la vie. My Louisiana roots show in my love of good coffee, good food, and good music. My soggy native soil has also shown me that resilience is hard-wired in my consciousness; when the chips are down (or drowned)...bring it on.

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