I’m afraid. Afraid of rejection. Afraid of not being good enough. This isn’t just a fleeting fear that I can suppress when I feel like it. This is an overwhelming fear that literally cripples me from acting.
My biggest question at the moment is why? I’ve had these fears for as long as I can remember, and they’ve only gotten worse. Where did they come from? Is this just what every artist has to deal with, to a greater or lesser degree? What do people do to overcome them?
I can relate because, like Dylan, I’ve had many dreams that have remained just that. Some invisible force seems to hold me back, some dreadful premonition that things will never end well.
But in my case, my fear isn’t that of moving forward. It’s the fear of not moving forward.
My biggest fear is mediocrity.
Who cares, right? Isn’t “mediocrity” just a fancy way of saying that you care about what other people think about you?
Well…yes. To a degree.
I think about this with regards to what kind of legacy I will leave for my son and any other children I may have.
I want the best for him, but as I pretty much wasted my teens and twenties, have I laid down a path of failure to him?
I want to set a good example, but as a deal jockey in an unremarkable line of work, will I be an inspiration?
I am already a failed musician. I am in a career that, while tolerable, and while at a job I actually like, doesn’t really think animate me. And like Dylan, I have aspirations of writing. Yet nothing has come of them so far.
You can, and indeed should, learn from failures, but what if failure is the only outcome?
But there are things I fear far more than failure.
My fear isn’t of taking the plunge. It’s of jumping off of the rock to the water below, making a splash…
…and having nobody pay attention.
Yes, this is narcissistic. Yes, this requires a heathy degree of self-delusion. Yes, this necessitates a healthy ego.
I mean, even people not liking what you do, or having a strong reaction to it, is better than not caring, right?
Like Dylan, I struggled through a You adulthood that was very confused about what it meant to be an “adult,” a “grown man,” and an “American,” and am just trying to make it as best I can.
It would just be nice if somebody cared.
And check out my Instagram here.