Sunday, December 04, 2011

Enough with the Insecurity

"Have you read your blog lately?" my Muse asks while storming into my room with a stack of books in her arms.

"Yeah. I wrote it didn't I?"

"Then you know how pathetic you sound lately."


"Yes. Pathetic." She paces the room still holding the tower of uneven paperbacks. "Blah, blah, blah... I'm so insecure... I don't have any confidence... I'm so afraid... pathetic!"

"What are you talking about? I'm trying to help people."

"Help people? If helping people is showing what a complete wimp you are then you're doing an awesome job. Here! This is for helping people." She tosses the books at me.

Flinging out my arms to protect my head, I catch one of the flapping books as it heads for my eyes. Several land in my lap and the rest bounce onto the floor.

"Watch it!" I shout. "What the hell are you doing?"

She puts her hands on her hips and in a mocking tone says, "Helping you."

I look at the book in my hand. How to find meaning in the second half of life. "What's this?"

"It's a book to help you stop being so annoying."

Looking down at my lap I read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and Co-Dependent No More. 

"Why are you throwing self-help books at me?"

"Because nothing else seems to be working. You're still the same insecure, terrified, wimpy little writer and editor you always were. Only now you're too old to blame it on youth." 

"I am not."

"Yes you are."



"You're just mean!"

"God! You can't even argue like an adult!" My muse kicks Going to pieces without falling apart so hard the front cover rips.

"You know I grew up in a crazy household. It's taken me a very long time to get over it."

"But that's the problem, you still haven't. You're still living like that little girl, and at your age, it's boring."

"Will you please stop making cracks about my age."

"Not until you start acting your age. Then I might."

I stand and let the few books in my lap fall to the floor. "I'm sorry."

"Stop saying you're sorry."

"Okay, I'm... you're... right."

My muse crosses her arms. "I am?"

"Yes, you're right. I have been too focused on my own insecurity, and yes I have been writing about it too much. I'm just nervous, that's all. But I'm working on it."

"Work on it harder."

"Okay, but you know you don't help when you throw self-help books at me."

"Be happy they weren't encyclopedias."

We stare at each other, our eyes not quite meeting for fear I might turn to stone. Her snakes stick out their tongues at me.

My muse sighs. "You really have no idea how talented your are, do you?"

I shrug. "I guess not."

"Well figure it out." She turns her back on me. "And stop wasting my time."

I look down at the floor and read, The places that scare you. 

"Maybe if you didn't yell at me so much I wouldn't be so insecure."

She turns to face me again. "Don't try to blame this on me."

"You aren't exactly the nicest muse on the planet, you know."

"The niceness of muses is overrated. We're all bitches. And besides, do you want to be coddled or inspired?"

"Inspired, of course."

"Then pick up these books, read a few, and get back to work. Enough with the insecurity for frell's sake!"

I snap my fingers. "Just like that? You know it isn't that easy..."

"Yes it is. Stop writing about it, dwelling on it, thinking about it, and stewing in it. When you feel insecure push it aside, take a deep breath, and keep working. Simple."

I can't think of any way to respond, because the simplicity of her words is so... simple. But is it really that easy? Just stop thinking about insecurity and it will go away?

She reads my mind. "Yes, it really is that simple. If you stop feeding your fears, they die. God, I didn't have to read a single fucking self-help book to know that. Humans overcomplicate everything."

I shrug. "Okay then, I'll give it a try."

"Good." She walks out of my room, yelling, "And throw out those books, too."

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