As a nerd, and a “scholar of life” (if I may finally, finally reach peak pretentiousness), I’ve learned an important lesson for people—and artists especially.
And, before I go forward, a warning: It’s hard to apply.
Really fucking hard.
But, it’s also an admired quality.
It’s something, that when someone has it, you notice from a mile away.
And it’s kind of simple: to dance like no one is looking.
Metaphorically and literally.
The absolute best people are the ones who can do wild things. Put themselves out there in the oddest and weirdest ways. Express joy physically, exuberantly.
They are making the world better.
I’m friends with a lot of actors and singers and dancers, and the ability to do something like that, to be free with motion and expression, in real time, it’s amazing. I can only do it from behind a screen, with words I can edit.
The most powerful words are those told out loud and honestly, so honest they hurt the speaker to say them. Conversations that touch on things that are so deep they are part of the soul are the only real conversations worth having.
And we all know when we are in those moments.
But, how to be that way?
The trick is to forget that the world is a judging place. A place that will smite you for doing what it does not deem acceptable. Forget, for a moment, that the world has consequences, that words can echo, that feelings do not really fade if they are important or personal, and simply do the thing anyway.
I have posted on this blog many things that, to this day, I wonder if they will bite me at some later date. That they were too open, too vulnerable, too crude or political. It’s frightening when you know nothing dies on the internet. You see so many stories about old words or ideas or statements screwing someone over years down the road. I write dark stuff sometimes—I tend to go a little far in my stories—and I am aware that, maybe, someday, I might get judged and attacked.
But, I do this anyway.
I may not be brave enough to really dance with my whole body in public, when the music plays, when other’s move their bodies, but I am brave enough to put my thoughts down on paper.
And years down the road, I may not agree with all I say now. But I still say it now.
To stay sane, to survive, I forget what I posted. Push it right out of my mind. Literally forgetting potential danger and failure willfully.
Lying to yourself is not always a bad thing.
Sometimes we all need to forget that the world is cruel.
So that we might do something about it.
Special thanks to: Bob Gerkin, Collin Pearman, Dylan Alexander, Jerry Banfield, and Michael The Comic Nerd.
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Want to read something longer by me? How about a whole novel!