Ask an anxious person (diagnosed or not) what our fears are, and they’ll run the gamut — if we’re even able to coherently express them. I’m afraid of so many things, and yet, so unafraid of other things.
I can tell when my fears are irrational, even though I can’t stop my brain from being afraid. And I can tell when I should be more afraid than I am, though I can’t always explain why I’m not. If I go too long without anxiety, worry, and some low level of fear, I’ll wonder what’s wrong, what I’m not thinking about, and if I should be afraid because I’m not afraid.
Yes, this is my brain on anxiety. Fun. Times.
I could list all of my fears, but none of us have time for that so I’ll focus on the things I haven’t been able to stop thinking about recently — and they’re all about my life as a blogger and creative person with big dreams. They’re repeats of old fears, worries, and anxieties but that’s how anxious brains work sometimes.
I’m terrified of being forgotten and becoming irrelevant. Spend too much time only “existing” online, and you begin to think the only way to exist is online. If I stop blogging, podcasting, tweeting, and showing up, will anyone remember me? Have I made enough of an impact that anyone would care if I wasn’t here?
I’ve got genuine sex blogging and kink friends, so my rational mind knows the answer is, “Yes, people will care.” But it doesn’t stop me from being afraid of becoming invisible and forgotten.
I’m terrified of being seen. There was a time when “being seen” meant someone seeing my face. That ship has sailed. Then I was terrified of having my naked body shown (especially my stomach). That ship is in the process of sailing. See exhibit A above.
No, this is the fear of being known outside a small group of dedicated friends and followers. A well-meaning PR person gave me advice for how to grow my podcast audience, and it sounded like hell to me. Opening myself up to the general masses who may not know a thing about kink but will have an opinion because everyone on the internet has an opinion? That is a special kind of hell if you ask me.
And yet, all the “advice” in the world says that if you want to be successful, you’ve got to be seen on a big scale. I’m trying desperately to prove that advice wrong, but…
I’m afraid I have no fucking idea what I’m doing. So, let’s be clear, no one has any clue what we’re doing. We’re all making it up as we go along. If you look at anything I do as a blogger, kinkster, podcaster, or smutlancer, and think I’ve got it all figured out, think again. I’ve got the next five minutes figured out (maybe). Everything else is an educated guess.
What I “know” are previous patterns that have worked for me, so I repeat them over and over again until they stop working. But I’m also trying to do things for which there is no damn instruction manual (or known patterns), so I have to try new things all the time. I curled up in John Brownstone’s arms last night, and wailed, “I just want someone to tell me what to do!”
But he can’t Dom me through everything. And since I don’t want a job with a boss ever again, I have to sit and live with the fear of being clueless until the moment I’m a little less clueless. At which point, I’ll make progress on one thing and then realize I’m clueless about the next thing I’m trying to do, and the fear starts all over again.
That, in a nutshell, is my definition of adulting. But it’s also the definition of working for yourself, being a blogger, and doing anything creative…at least that’s what I’m telling myself. Unfortunately, knowing that doesn’t stop me from being afraid.
I’m afraid that the dreams in my head are bullshit. That I’m fooling myself and wasting time, money, and energy.
There it is. The big fear. The one that any dreamer has but may find it hard to admit. I was raised with the idea that dreams are for suckers. Goals matter. Hard work matters. But dreamers live with their head in the clouds.
Maybe so. I can get lost in the dream I have for myself and the life I envision. In my head it feels so real that I can taste it, feel it, hear it. It’s so real that my brain says, “Of course you can make this happen. Look how real it is in here!”
If all you’re counting on is the dream to come true by magic, then yes your heads are in the clouds. I’m working towards my dreams every day. I’ve already built a life for myself that 2012 me wouldn’t even recognize.
But with no instruction manual, no real rules, and no clue, this is my fear. That it’s all for naught, that I’m wasting my time.
How do I conquer that fear? Hell if I know. My current plan is to acknowledge I might not make it to the dream in my head, but if I move in the direction, I’ll create a better life than I would have had otherwise. But, in the meantime, the noise in my head overwhelms from time to time, and I sit with my fears, letting them wash over me.
Until I decide it’s time to get back to work and try to make the impossible happen for another day.
Ohhhh! I have been called a dreamer and the thing is, I don’t wait for them to come true, I work for them. Maybe not in the right way, but I do the way as best I can work out. To follow and hope that I am going down the right path. I fear I am not every day! I’m with you girl! You are doing a great job and I for one, sure would miss you if you were gone!! xx – Kat <3
Same. If I’m dreaming it, I’m working on it. It’s only been very recently that I would refer to my dreams. Everything else was a “goal” because that seemed safer to say. But nope, I’m a dreamer, lol.
Yes, I remember being accused of having my head in the clouds or having pie in the sky notions of things and that only hard work is rewarded. I scoff in their faces now. Sure my dreamy head was and is in the clouds some days, but I use it in my writing and I am a published author… so fuck em. I’d like to see just ONE of them tackle a full novel. You go girl… make your dreams come true. You have a wonderful support team out here. So this brings me to another comment I was thinking about you the other day. I am thoroughly enjoying the daily writings. When I first found you I think you were doing a post every day in June? I loved that. And some days it was more than one and loved that even more. I look forward to your mind sharing. And yes you’d be missed. Thank you for being so open and sharing so much of your relationship with us. It gives me hope I might find my Dom one day. Hugs and kisses Kayla… take a deep breath and tell em all to fuck off!
I hid my dreamer side for a VERY long time, secretly worrying that I shouldn’t be dreaming at all. Dreaming out loud is definitely a new, wild, and thrilling experience.
I’ve enjoyed posting daily again, and I hope to do that June challenge again, too. If I make ALL of my dreams come true, I may post again nearly daily, but for now, I have to pick and choose where I spend my energy so I can build the dream that leaves me with enough time to blog daily. 🙂
I gotta tell ya, these sound like EVERYONE’S fears. Fears are so universal, so human.
Absolutely other people have these fears, even if they’re not trying to build a kinky empire, lol. But not enough of us talk about them or admit our fears, when we really should BECAUSE they’re so universal.
You are definitely a pioneer, Kayla. And that comes with both legitimate dangers and those you make up in your head. I appreciate how much you share of yourself, and I look to you as I learn how to navigate my own fears about smutlancing. And it’s nice to know the guru is human, too.
Thanks for this post.
The first lesson I learned in blogging was that none of us are the only one. If one of us feels something, others will too. So even when it’s difficult or feels strange, I try to share my reality so that someone feels a little less alone. And as my profile has grown in the sex blogging world (I think that’s accurate and doesn’t sound like I’m bragging), I feel like it’s even more important. I’m not without fears and flaws, and I feel like if someone as anxious and terrified as I am can do whatever it is I’m trying to do, so can others.
I must admit I read this several times as all I could think was ‘yes, that’s me too’. I may joke about anxiety being my buddy along for the ride, but it is how I cope. We find our own ways of getting through the day and if we are lucky we find others who understand and accept us just as we are.
The part about being seen resonated the most for me. I’m so scared that I will be discovered by those who don’t understand what we do. I love kink and erotica and writing, it forces me to acknowledge who I can be if I just let it happen.
So thank you, from lil me waving in the back.
I keep waiting for that moment of “not caring what other people think” which is part of not really wanting to be seen. It happens (on occasion) so maybe that’s part of the trick of it. I’m not really sure, but I’m hoping so.
The fear of being forgotten… yes.
The fear of not knowing what I am doing… yes.
I can relate to so much in this post… deep down we both do know what we are doing even though it mostly doesn’t feel like it. Sometimes I even fear that I am doing too much…
I have had that last fear, too. And then I get a moment when I can take a breath and relax for five minutes and I worry that I’m not doing enough. I think that might be an overachiever trait. We’re in good company with each other. XOXO
[…] of it’s possible without John Brownstone. It’s his support that keeps me going when my lying brain tells me I can’t. And it’s his willingness to be a part of it all that allows me to […]
I can relate to a LOT in this post Kayla, about being sucked into online only and does it really matter to anyone at the end of the day anyway, and about getting so used to underlying fear/anxiety that when its not there you worry about that too! I look up to you and what you create and your dreams are so valid and important and moving in the direction of those dreams, whether baby steps, short rests or giant leaps is the way to go. Keep going xx
Thank you so much! When my anxiety isn’t kicking my butt, it’s easier to remember the kind comments and the times people have told me that they liked what I do or that I’ve helped. And it’s those memories that make it easier to keep going when things feel impossible. And this is one of those comments that will help me the next time I forget and get scared again.