Kicking Fear out of his room.

by joy soaked words

The reality of rejection, comparison and telling fear to leave – it’s a rainy day outside, the leaves are falling and I’m grabbing another cup of coffee and digging deep into these topics today on the blog.

Welcome, dear reader. Welcome to my little space in the corner of the internet, where we dive deep into topics of raw vulnerability, seasons that I am walking and things that I am learning and processing.

I opened an old instagram account recently, and began to post. This particular account was one in which I had actually started 2 years ago – an account dedicated directly to words that I had written, but never posted in it. Because of fear. Fear of what people might think, fear of rejection, of comparison. Fear ruled my writing, it was holding onto all the pages that I had written and told me that I would never be enough, that I would never become a writer, nobody wanted to read the words that I had written.

I am aware that these are all lies. Fully aware, although fully aware, Fear still had control of my writing and my ability to put myself out there.

This year has been a lot of telling Fear to leave, in different aspects of my life. I started writing poetry for people, and tucking it into letters in the mail system, something I had never done before. Aside from this blog, any words that I wrote for people, or just in general, are tucked away in various notebooks, written on scraps of paper and at the top of class notes.

I could tell Fear, that it was time for him to pack up his suitcases and move out, and he could take rejection and comparison along with him, but I wasn’t actually doing a good job of kicking him out. I wasn’t holding open the door and asking him leave, I was just mentioning it offhandedly like you might ask a roommate for the rent. He was really just moving room to room in my mind, and rejection and comparison were always having sleepovers with him.

I had become comfortable with the mess that fear left behind him, it was something I had become so used to, picking up after him and his friends, rejection and comparison. The three amigos.

For one of my classes, I wrote a short story on the idea of “home” and a daughter’s view on a restless parent with a desire to move with the moon cycles. I let a few close friends read it, because I needed feedback, I needed to get out of my head where fear ruled, with rejection and comparison at his sides. It was a story that took weeks to write, and as I printed it off to give to a few people to read, I knew that it was nothing like the short stories that we had been reading in class. It covered a topic that was more of a feeling, then something physical and I wrote it in a voice that left things open to interpretation for the reader.

I handed it in when it was due, holding my breath. As I pressed send, I felt Fear start to pack his bags. He was still hanging around, waiting at the kitchen table, but at least his bags were packed.

I was standing in the kitchen in dorm 2. The kitchen is a place where I meet God often, over dishes or cookie batter. It’s the place where, next to writing, I feel most alive. I got an email back, with feedback from my professor regarding the short story that I handed in. He told me, that I had the beginnings of a novel with my short story, it was something that I could chose to turn into a full blown novel. It was so encouraging that I called my parents to read it out to them, and the rest of the day, I was on such a high that I didn’t even realize that Fear had slipped out, he was just gone when I came back to clean up after him and realized that there was nothing to clean up.

I also realized through this short story, that this was three long years in the coming. Three years of learning what makes a home, three years of learning how to write, and three years of learning how to tell Fear to leave when it came to my writing. It was a reminder, that nothing worthwhile is going to happen overnight, and it takes time to hone the craft, to learn how to do something well.

I know that as I continue to write, to share these words that are so precious to me, that there will be times where Fear will come back, he will come knocking. I also know that, I have the ability to shut the door in his face, I don’t have to let him move in.

Because I am allowed to say no to fear. I have every right. And so do you.

njl.