Monday, December 24, 2012

Fighting with Lizards

Frankly, I honestly have no idea what it looks like from the outside, because from the inside, my transition into the art world is still a panic inducing hot mess. I don't often share these thoughts and struggles with the outside world, because I'm scared that it will be viewed as a sign of weakness, a prelude to failure. Even this is a projection of my own fears.

I'm stronger than that, so I will share this with you.

I have been packing for this trip for over three years. I am finally ready to head out and start down the road and I keep going back to the house for stupid things - like more pencils and extra socks. Yes, I'm going to need them, but I'm pretty sure they have pencils where I'm headed, and I can pick up the things I've forgotten when I get there. The real fact of the matter is that I am absolutely petrified to take those first few crucial steps on my journey. I am caught in a cyclical "preparation" phase. Even now, I will revert back to "I have to learn this thing first" and "I don't have the exact right: art supplies, environment, lighting, software, puppets, etc... to even bother starting". Occasionally I will obsess over my perceived lack of preparation to a point of paralysis. 

The real culprit is fear

But fear of what? Of success? Of failure? Of both, at the same time? No. I believe these are actually high level justifications for my deeper fears. Our higher level brains mask these fears in layers upon layers of dignified, justified, rational fears. Excuses. Excuses. 

This fear comes from a darker age, from a deeper place that is even harder to find - deep in my lower, lizard brain. It is ultimately the fear of leaving the safe and secure world I know - where resources are plentiful, and I am already happy - to go out and face an untold number of unknown challenges of an uncertain dream. "No.", the lizard brain says resolutely, "That is a damned fool idea!".

I like to acknowledged these voices, and placate them if I must, "Look, you're still safe, warm, well fed"... Or I have to outright lie, "Suuuure, we can totally go back home later if things get too tough.". Then I kindly ask them all to, "Please sit down, and be quiet. Cause I've got a lot of shit to do today."  Sometimes, if I spot it and address it early enough, it's quick and painless. Other times, if I let it, this fight takes hours, days, months...

I can't say for sure, but I'd like to think, these get shorter with practice. I'll let you know when I get there.


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