My muse came back to me yesterday. She appeared in the form of the immensely powerful songs from Les Miserables and The Phantom of the Opera. Her impetus was a sign that beckoned to me from inside an office in downtown San Francisco. Plastered on the wall of an otherwise plain desk were these words:
“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”
At the sight of this, my heart fluttered at first until finally, it beat so hard and fast it felt like it was leaping out of my chest. Only then did I realize I’ve been famished for her, my first love. I knew I had to write again.
Which of the following is stopping you from fulfilling your destiny: fear of rejection, fear of the unknown, fear of change, fear of failure, fear of being alone? And if you were free from these, what would you then do?
Will you love with reckless abandon?
Will you pack everything, move to Italy and never look back?
Will you travel the world until there are no more cultures to discover?
Will you chase that dream you’ve been flirting with all your life?
Will you dance like nobody’s watching?
Will you tell that person you’ve been pining for [from afar] how you could no longer live another day without her/him?
Will you knock at the door of that loved one and mend your broken relationship?
Will you pen that story and breathe life into those characters in your head?
Will you embrace a belief with absolutism?
Will you start a family?
Will you go back to school?
Will you leave that job you so loathe?
Will you let the steady sparks of talent to finally explode and consume you?
Or do you continue to take acquiescently everything that life throws at you no matter how egregious they are? Do you carry on cultivating a deep-seated aversion to happiness? Caught between abject misery and spiritual destitution, do you continue to plod on? Do you let fear imprison your dreams?
There was a time in my life when I was intrepid. I was young, destitute and frankly, too skinny. I had absolutely nothing to lose, which made me fearless. I was so sure of everything. In contrast, I have grown terribly weak and fearful these days. I’m petrified of change, of failure, of practically everything. But I wanna go back to the days of my youth, of fearlessness, for she has been beckoning me and besides, fear is a sin. I want to feel what it’s like to be indomitable once again, to be so brave it borders recklessness. I wanna be alive again and not merely breathing! There’s an enormous difference.
What about you? What are you going to do about your source of angst?
To close, here are some pretty powerful words from Steve Jobs, one of the giants of Silicon Valley and a person I admire tremendously despite his many demons. What an incredible loss to humanity! Such a tragedy that he couldn’t beat death, an early death that could have been avoided.
[The full video of his speech at Stanford University is below]
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life…And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. Everything else is secondary..Remembering that you are gonna die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
STAY HUNGRY! STAY FOOLISH!