I'm amazed at how little I care about getting dirty, and uncomfortable. I remember a time just a little over a year ago when I approached nearly EVERYTHING with trepidation. I suppose it was the fear of being uncomfortable, of getting dirty, of not being able to enjoy myself. Seems a bit OCD thinking about it now. I carried around a lot of anxiety about...everything. I don't know what has happened to me. I don't know if it's medication induced, or if I'm actually growing out of my fearful self, but I like it.
Saturday afternoon I was out at the Garden (you know) with good friends/awesome people, working on a horror film we wrote together. Final scene! It was the end of a "chase," and Mr. Foy Tootle (yes. that's his real name), God bless him, decided it would be cool to have me running through the creek and up the bank before running into my scene partner (Julie Best-est). Usually creeks don't tend to get much deeper than mid-calf, but this was a bend, and a deep one at that. It was a deep bend full of rotting fallen trees and stagnant cold water. I know. I had draped myself over a fallen tree to get my nose close enough to the water as to catch a glimpse of some secret underworld. No such luck. Just muck.
My first reaction was to say "Hell no! It's too deep," and I did. But my next sentence was, "I mean, I'll do it if you think it will actually look good," which was a totally STUPID thing to say. OF COURSE it was going to look good: Me scrambling through the mucky water and up the bank. It was going to look terrifying and desperate. So, it should have been no surprise to me that I found myself doing just that mere moments later.
The first thing one instinctively does before endeavoring to cross any kind of body of water is to look for ways to avoid getting wet at all. I climbed gingerly from one fallen tree to another, throwing my body against the high bank and hanging on to visible roots, and it worked, that one time...for the practice shot. For the first shot, I slid down the opposite bank and stepped clean through the first "stepping stone" covering myself with mucky cold water.
It was then that Carrie remarked, "Okay. Now, you're ready." And I was. All bets were off. I was already wet. It was time to go all in. So, for the next shot, I threw myself across the creek towards the pile of fallen rotting tree branches that had collected in the bend, but none of them would hold. Everywhere I stepped, they gave way until I was desperately gripping the roots on the bank with my body in cold water up to my waist. I made it. I pulled myself up, and the shot was great. Better than great.
And there it was: the metaphor glaring me in the face. Do this thing. It will be good. It will be awesome even. And don't be afraid. But you are. And you step cautiously. Trepidation. Then, your footing gives way, and you fall in up to your waist. NOW you're ready. Forget those initial fears. You're already wet. It makes the feeling when you get to the other side and you get dry that much better.
Half-living is not living at all. Fear is a liar. Trust me.
This message brought to you by the fact that I'm getting more and more sentimental. Suck it.