The past few weeks have not been filled with productivity. As I joked to a friend, if I’d known I was going to be this bad at responding to emails during the holiday I would have put up an “I’ll be back after New Years” auto-responder. Even today – my day for renewed productivity – saw me hit the snooze button from 10AM to 10:45, before finally turning my alarm off entirely and sleeping until almost 2PM. (In my defense, I had a really difficult time getting to sleep last night, but I’m still not proud of my four hour snooze fest.)
I’ve been trying to pin down the source of my laziness. The more I think about it, the more it feels like fear: Fear of failing, fear of being unable to continue this artistic and professional momentum, fear of success, fear of surgery (about which I’ll write more in another post), fear of dating, fear of not dating and being alone (about which I’ll write more in another post), fear, fear, fear. I know enough about myself to have realized that I go through these cycles of productivity and laziness (one could more generously call it productivity and personal renewal) so I’m not too worried. At the same time, I’ve missed some deadlines recently, been slow to respond to emails, generally not acted in the professional manner I’d like to.
I don’t know why those fears keep creeping up. I know from experience that good things happen when I get off my ass and work. I don’t know why I still worry that I’m going to put in all this energy and get nothing in return; it flies in the face of personal experience, especially over the last few years. But putting myself out there remains scary, and I still sometimes feel like I’m faking any success I might have. To use a concrete example, on New Years Eve someone I was chatting with asked me what I do. I replied, “I’m an artist and educator – I tour to theater festivals and colleges conducting educational workshops and performing solo pieces focusing on gender and sexuality.” That’s entirely true, but it felt fake and show-off-y when I said it.
Hopefully doing The Work will help lessen my my worries and hangups around it. I am excited about what the future brings, but also scared at its uncertainty. My hope is to enter 2013 thinking more about the former than the latter, and stepping up my artistic and productive game.