I think I’ve just realized something…I’m afraid. Completely totally, pee in my pants scared. But I’m not so sure what I’m scared of. I feel as if my arms are tied behind my back. My mouth is gagged. My arms and feet twist and turn seeking freedom. I look around to my captors. They stand at the edge of the square room. Not one looks at me and I can’t even tell who they are or what they are exactly. The images of their faces and bodies are blurry. The darkness shadows them even more. Are they the nay-sayers? The unencouragers? The Debbie downers?

I strain my neck to look down at my wrists to see what is holding me back and that’s when I realize my wrists are free. My feet all as well. So, why the feeling of imprisonment? That’s what I’m trying to figure out.

I want to be an artist. Part of me has always wanted to be an artist. I am a writer (and even this title is still hard for me to say aloud). Labels have always gotten in the way for me. When I was growing up, my best friend was a writer. She was the writer. There wasn’t room for more than one, especially when I read her high school word choice in fourth grade. I was always fascinated with her ability to write, to capture moments, to express herself. She had something to say. I never felt like I did. Is that what scares me most? To realize I don’t really have anything to say. Maybe I don’t. Or maybe I do. Maybe I’m scared of what I have to say. Maybe I’m scared to say I left my husband for another man (and I’m scared for people to read this and judge me. All I can say is that if you’ve been in a relationship where you weren’t you, you might understand.) Maybe I’m scared to say I yell at my children and berate them and make both them and I and everyone else feel like shit. Maybe I’m scared to say I should call my 92-year-old grandma more but I don’t because she gets confused and she’ll die soon anyway, right? Am I already grieving for that loss? Maybe I’m scared to be compared to someone else. Maybe I’m scared I won’t be good enough and really I won’t be, I have zero experience. But is that okay? Fake it until you make it, right? And yet, I don’t even know enough to fake it. Why do I feel the need to create art? Writing comes so much easier. Why does the desire to create visual art constantly tap me on the shoulder? ‘Hey, yeah, we’re still here. What about just doing it?’




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