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fear tourists

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[16 Aug 2003|03:00pm]

no time to really write this the words it deserves, but i'm about to embark on a three-and-a-half hour drive with someone i barely know, to meet a boy who makes me faint. literally. think stan from south park, only not (usually) quite as messy. woo, roadtrip! this should be interesting. hopefully the drive will turn out to be some kinda bonding experience and not just totally awkward. sometimes, i like to scare myself. it's good for ya.

[03 Aug 2003|04:25pm]

I suppose I'll break the ice and be the first to post here. Everyone knows I have a lot to say on the topic. It isn't an original concept (are any?), and started in me personally when I started reading Chuck Palahniuk novels. I've since read them all and they've all left a similar, yet distinctly different mark on me. Doing the things you're afraid of is a pretty consistent theme in his novels, and in his life. I agree with the idea that peace of mind is very difficult, if not impossible, while certain fears exist in you.

And there's still a lot I'm afraid of. I guess you could say I'm still the sum of my experience, but at this point, I'm approaching experience itself from an entirely different angle. I'm finding that just living for me happens in small ways, in the small things, and only in the confines of my own heart, soul, and mind. I no longer care about money, or recognition, some pointless career working all day at a job I hate so I can buy things I don't need. Chuck wrote in a letter to me after I'd written him, saying This isn't about writing a great BOOK, this is about living a great LIFE. And I know exactly what he meant, and it wasn't restricted to writing a book. He meant whatever you're out there trying to attain, you may want to think twice about it's value. LIfe isn't about creating art. It's not about creating beauty. It's about walking that road toward yourself. Whatever you feel in your heart that is. I believe that life can only be one of two things: a great tragedy, or a great triumph. Nothing in between. No OK, no just fine, no middle ground, in the end you either succeed or you fail. And all that success is solely based inside you, not outside of you. I'm not going to rant about this anymore, though.

I'm trying to live in a way where I approach my fears (with respect) and kindly stomp out their existence. If I'm afraid of someone, I'll offer my love and my support, if I'm afraid of somewhere, I'll go and reside there until the fear has gone, if I'm afraid of something, I'll do it. Each time I get that feeling that there is simply one less thing in my life to be afraid of, I feel immensely closer to where I'm going. And it's such a rush. So, because this community is set up as "a way to record the snapshots", I won't get into my past experiences just yet, I'll start with the present.

Keith and I were going to drive across the country in my little Ford Focus, living out of the car, for a good solid month. It was frightening and exciting, and it didn't happen. It will happen, though. There will be a time soon where I dedicate a portion of my life to being homeless, just going from place to place, starving if I have to, just to prove to myself that I can. I want to see the country while I'm at it. That was the plan. But there were a few loud distractions, and some particular circumstances that prevented that. But before you mumble "cop out", for me, something even greater and more frightening presented itself. An even greater challenge, something I was worlds more afraid of than living like a hobo until the end of summer.

A girl.

Frightening because of my feelings for her, frightening because of my doubt and my insecurity, frightening because of the possibilities, even frightening because of my hope for her and I. I always attempt to shield myself from rejection because I don't want to get hurt. I've gone through a lot of abuse and eventually I naturally learned that the only way to protect yourself was to not give anyone the opportunity to disappoint you. Just expect the worst, always. Prepare for it, know it, so that when it happens, you're still standing unflinchingly, and completely unsurprised and apathetic. But I'm finding recently that by doing that, I'm also depriving myself of opportunities that I deserve. I'm disallowing myself from obtaining very natural, human needs. Because I'm afraid. Which has to stop.

So I stuck to my guns, I asked myself, What would Chuck do? I actually wrote him a second letter when I had decided I was going to go on this road trip, saying I planned on stopping by Portland to check out all the sites in Fugitives and Refugees. Since that didn't happen, I feel a little guilty having written him about it, though I can imagine seeing him this September in Boston saying Well, it didn't quite work out that way. I found something greater. And he'll ask, What? And I'll say Love, and he'll smile in recognition and rub my head and tell me I'm a good space monkey. Or something like that. I just know he wouldn't disapprove or think it any small thing. And it isn't any small thing. It's a big, wonderful, exciting, frightening thing, but it's an opportunity that I'm actually allowing myself this time. And if I get hurt, if it doesn't happen, then at least I can say that I tried, and as cliche as that is, it's very important. Sometimes we actually need to learn to try, and by failing, we refine our search and equipt ourselves better for the next opportunity.

I don't want this to fail. Brenda is just so unlike anyone I've ever known, she's even more than I could have perceived on my own. She brings me closer to myself, and closer to God. She makes me a better person. And she seems to see some good in me. It didn't take her long to find a permanent residence in my heart. Most of all though, I just want her to be safe and happy, and make the decisions that are right for her. Putting ourselves aside for the benefit and concern of another person is also a frightening thing to do sometimes.

So I'll leave you with that.

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