Someone asked me about my motivation the other day and here is what I had to say:
Starting solo really feels like starting over. I know it isn't quite starting over, but it feels like I've been kicked back to the start by a cruel overseer. I am really quite scared of performing solo. And that is exactly why I keep doing it. For some reason I have been shaped as the type of person that charges forward when something scares me. When I don't understand, when I can't see, when all I want to do is hide: I keep going.
Someone told me once, "The only way out is through."
It's so true. There may be nothing truer.
I know that no matter how scared I am of success or failure or whatever it is I am doing, even if I back out the fear will stay. The only way to get past the emotion is to continue what I started for as long as I want to. For as long as my passion drives me.
I decided long ago to not let fear guide my life. I do what I am driven to do, what I am passionate about. If I let fear stop me my life would be a small pale thing instead of the wondrous fairy tale I choose to live each day.
Fear is the little death. Fear is the mind-killer...
I have to remind myself often of this choice to not be ruled by fear: to be open: to smile at strangers: to hitch hike: to speak a language I am not comfortable with even if I sound stupid: to go for the high note even if my voice cracks: to love someone beyond reason, even if they don't love me back.
The choice has its costs. I am sensitive. I am often hurt. Because I am an optimist I always expect the best and end disappointed. But because I am an optimist I also see wonder where others see none. And because I push past my comfort and beyond what I know, my time on this planet is richer and deeper and filled with strange and wonderful things.
And the more I push my boundaries the further I can go. The less I give in to fear the better I get at it. I exercise my will and it gets stronger, like everything else I exercise. It isn't easy. But it is rewarding.
I take these chances because I know that when I go beyond my comfort, beyond what I know, that is where the purest art comes from.
"When we venture beyond the edge of our knowledge, all we have is art." Jonah Lehrer (Proust was a Neuroscientist)