Meet My Worst Enemy
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” ~ Jack Canfield
Recently, I’ve not been able to write. Not due to any lack of ability or scarcity of topics. Nor have I lost motivation, that’s still there. Writing remains one of the few things in this world that makes me totally happy. I fell in love with writing as a child. Over the years, that love grew and writing became the ticket to much of my progress – from achieving high academic success to earning my livelihood. Writing has also helped me to forge and maintain beautiful friendships, pivotal business relationships and a dynamic network of connections worldwide.
When I sit to write, I can escape to another universe. I become lost in the creative process and whatever is going on in my life, whatever emotions are controlling me, I could either totally shut them out as I write, or vividly capture every feeling through words. I express myself best through the written word. So why then have I not been able to write? I am afraid.
I’m afraid of the power that lies in writing, or rather, in good writing. I’m afraid that if I say what I really think sometimes, that my audience’s reaction would be overwhelming. I’m afraid that if I really showcase my candor, sarcastic tongue and uncanny wit, I could become very controversial, that I could get unwarranted attention, or perhaps some unexpected good fortune might ensue and change my life. Then I’d be even more afraid, afraid that I’d finally feel like I’m being heard and actually be heard.
My fear goes even deeper. I’m afraid that despite having spent all my life writing and dreaming of being a successful published writer, that I may never achieve that goal. I’m afraid that even after investing $70K in a master’s degree at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, that all those employers I’ve been applying to for a full-time job since I graduated two years ago, may never notice me, that they may never think anything of my writing. Afraid that no matter how talented my former bosses and professors said I was, that maybe recruiters don’t agree. That I may be doomed to this unpredictable, unstable freelance journalism “hustle” where I’m doing more research assignments than actual writing.
I’m afraid that my extensive experience in writing for newspaper, radio, television, magazine, and online will not serve me well. That the years I spent in the field covering breaking news, sports, entertainment, business, religion, conducting interviews, and laboring over feature stories and editing for endless hours in the newsroom, will all be for naught. I’m afraid that this prolonged job hunt will never end and that I will never again write professionally or see that cherished crown – my byline.
I wish I weren’t so afraid. But it has replaced my frustration. It has tested my faith. I even found myself asking if God has forgotten me; that of course filled me with fear. I’m tired crying. I feel like I’ve exhausted all options trying to land that dream journalism job, or any journo job for that matter. I simply feel like I just can’t catch a break. So alas, fear has consumed me. It has weakened my will, caused me to doubt my journalistic abilities, to question my calling – my writing. Heck, I’m even afraid that no one will read this blog post, be able to relate to it, or even care. I’m afraid I might just be talking and writing to myself.
So fear has won. Or has it? Hell, no. I’m still here. I’m still writing. My love for writing is unconditional. It’s a gift I’ll continue to share, one I will always fight to have recognized, and a dream that my faith leads me to believe will come to fruition. It will be tied to my legacy. I’m afraid the world will just have to live with that.
~ I Keep it Irie ~