07 March 2011


I'm going to take a controversial position. No, not like that. Keep it in your pants.

I have an unpopular opinion. One that has never been expressed by anyone else before: I am afraid of nothing.

The phrase may be misleading at first, but I mean it in earnest. I am afraid of nothing. I am afraid of doing nothing. Being nothing. Meaning nothing.

Before you scoff and call me an insufferable hipster having an existential crisis, please hear me out. This fear is real to the point where I can’t sleep at night and can’t function properly during the day either.

I know. This is quite a departure from my previous posts. Sorry. I should have warned that something like this might happen from time to time. What caused such a dark turn in my writing mood? The funny thing is, absolutely nothing (see why it’s so terrifying?).

I was sitting in my room, painting my nails and half-watching South Park on my laptop when I got the sudden urge to write. This urge is not uncommon, and I suspect will not cease any time soon. So, after I finished up, I opened a new document and sat, staring, at the blank page. And what did I see? Nothing—except for a blinking cursor, which is really an indicator of nothing.

Sometimes nothing can be okay. Having nothing on a page means that I can fill it with something without distraction from a previous something. But tonight was different. Seeing the nothing made me wonder whether I would be able to put a something where the nothing was that would be worth, well, something. Would I come up with a something that would be different from other somethings that other people have produced? What could I possibly do that would make my something something? I suppose at this point, I could have just done nothing. I could have shut my laptop and gone to bed like a normal person. I could have put this panic-stricken moment in the back of mind to forget. But no. I chose to write, because not writing is far worse than the alternative. If I stop, then when the next time comes that I want to write, I’ll tell myself that I need to make a grand gesture to return, which will freak me out even more to the point where I’ll put it off again.

So I do something. I type. But the fear still haunts me. How do I know that I’ll be able to be someone/thing of importance? I don’t mean to say that I want to be powerful. I don’t. I just want to know whether, one day, I’ll be someone that someone else chooses. There are millions of people out there who do what I do (whatever that may be), and most of them are probably better than I am at doing said thing. So why would I be chosen? What do I have to offer that makes me more than better than nothing? What makes me something?

At this point, I may have lost you. And that’s okay. I’ve lost myself a little bit too. Anxiety is a wonderful thing. Okay, maybe it’s not. But at least it’s something. Which is more than I can say about myself at this moment.

I don’t want to end this post on a downer. So, instead, I will tell you the reason why I painted my nails tonight.

When I know I’m going to have a late night, I paint my nails. If I’m super serious, I’ll even do my toenails. But why? you rational-minded people may ask. I will tell you why.

I am vain. But I am also resourceful.

By painting my nails, I have made a time commitment to staying awake. I have to remain upright and outside of my covers lest I ruin a nail. Being awake will make me feel guilty, so, fueled by that guilt and possibly by nail polish fumes as well, I get shit done.

It’s a win-win situation. Pretty nails and accomplishment. Although this new quick-dry topcoat has made getting shit done marginally more difficult.

At least my nails look pretty.


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