There were the usual fears with this risk, the ones I always experience when I start something new. There was the fear that I’d fail, that I’d be seen as stupid and foolish, that everyone would hate me and I’d be in for eight weeks of hell. When I signed up for this writing class a few weeks ago, I assumed that I would be nervous or anxious on the day the class started, feeling all the above come back to the surface. But, surprisingly, I barely thought about it all day.
I took this as a good sign, that I was fully ready to take this class. It wasn’t until I actually got to the studio that my nerves and old insecurities began showing their ugly faces. As we went around and made introductions, I found myself questioning what I would say, how I would say it. When it was my turn, I babbled on a little, and then mentally chided myself once the introductions had moved to the next person.
The same thing happened pretty much every time I spoke, but I felt different about this chiding as the class went on. I saw it for what it was, a simple regurgitation of my old way of thinking. Over and over I fall into this habit of thinking the worst. Usually I cower before it, believing the thoughts are real. But something shifted as I sat there listening to a discussion on direct vs. indirect characterization: the thoughts became just that, thoughts. They weren’t real or fact or even necessarily true. They were just thoughts. It was liberating.
I’m not naïve enough to believe my negative, shaming thoughts have completely left the dark corners of my mind. I can still hear them mumbling and griping in the shadows. But, for now, they are held off.
Good. I’ve got some writing to do.