Let’s start with the obvious: my name is Matt. On November 1st, 2011, I lost a crappy office job that I was more than happy to see go. That’s not to say that I’m not frightened of uncertain employment in an uncertain economy, but I was more afraid of growing old and dying in a job I hated.
I love to write. If writing were a person, I would probably marry it. I knew that if I wasn’t going to have a job, in the traditional sense, I at least wanted to focus my working hours on writing. But what to write about?
I realized that I was afraid to leave the security of my job. I was afraid to pursue anything I really cared about as a career for fear of failure, or perhaps, even for fear of success. Further down that rabbit hole, it turned out that I had immense anxiety surrounding lots of little things I wanted to do: flying, dancing, speaking Spanish, etc.
So why not write about that fear?
Fear is an emotion like any other. One thing I’ve learned about emotions is that they’ve evolved to ensure our genetic success. Jealousy works by ensuring that no one else gets with our mate, which would reduce our own reproductive success. The problem is that today our social circles are so big and complex that it’s easy to have jealousy overload if there’s a lack of communication.
The same is true of fear. Speaking Spanish isn’t going to kill me. Neither is dancing. I say that with 99.9% confidence. The problem is that the fear response hasn’t kept up with the pace of our social and technological evolution, so we often feel fear when it is completely unnecessary (i.e. when trying to learn a foreign language).
This blog serves two purposes, then:
1. Document and understand fear on a psycho-philosophical level so that we may recognize our fear response for what it is—an archaic brain phenomena which is meant to keep us safe, but which hasn’t adapted to the actual dangers of our modern age—and use that recognition as a way to push past our fear and anxiety.
2. Document my own personal fears, and my (hopefully successful) attempts to overcome them, in such a way that is enjoyable to read, and inspiring to all others who are trying to face their fears.