Get out of my life.
Okay. Okay. Fine. I can’t get rid of you completely. If I did manage to somehow get rid of you — if I became completely and utterly fearless — I’d certainly be memorable, but not for good reasons. I’d hand over my credit card to any shady online shop I saw because I wouldn’t fear the consequences of identity theft. I’d drink spoiled milk without the fear of dying. And I’d be more likely to find myself in a coffin.
I don’t want those things. And I know that you don’t want those things.
But the extent to which you have come to rule over almost every aspect of my life — procrastinating on submitting short stories to magazines, hesitating to open up a Bandcamp page to sell music, the shame of still not having a driver’s license at the age of 23 — has to stop.
There are some things, Fear, that you help me see as legitimate, rational fears. And I accept that. I know that you mean well and want to keep me alive. I know that I did not ask for you, nor the exact combination of DNA and genes from my parents that gave you such strength over me.
But I am a part of you, and you are a part of me. You are not my entirety. You are not the definition of me when people look me up in the dictionary. You are not my guardian or my savior or my master. Being your prisoner does not keep me safe.
You are not Minister Frollo, and I am not Quasimodo. I am not “safe behind windows” and “parapets of stone,” and for every chain that you wrap around my wrists, my neck, and my throat to constrict my breath, I will continue to sing. For every fleeting of moment of shame and doubt that you magnify and turn monstrous, I will continue to fight. I will continue to write. I will continue to create. I will continue to become stronger and more of the person that I was meant to be.
So, please, Fear. Let go of me. No more chains.
Let’s be allies instead of enemies.