Filmmaker - Musician - Photographer

Fear.

Well, I am back at work after a lot of time off for the holidays and I'm readjusting to getting back into work mode.

I hate taking time off of work. I loath moments when I walk into my supervisor's office and request vacation time and I hate the moment when I call in sick. Anyone who works with me or has ever worked with me will tell you how rarely I take a day off of work. They will not, however, tell you its because of my dedication to the company or an admirable work ethic. No, my friends. Its all fear. I cannot lose my job.

I have a "thing" (call it a phobia if you want) of losing my job. I'm afraid that if I take a day off, be it necessary or not, my co-workers and employers will immediately see me as being unreliable and expendable. It happens with every job I've ever had. From my first day I'm afraid that I'll make some huge blunder and get fired or I'll be laid off for one reason or the other. The economy doesn't have to be in shambles for this fear to take hold, so naturally the current state of our country isn't helping me sleep at night. I cannot lose my job.

From Monday to Friday and much of my weekend I am sweating bullets and seizing every opportunity to show my co-workers and employer how important I can be. Its tiring. I not only show up for work on time, but a couple of hours early. I am constantly volunteering for every ounce of overtime and any take part in as many additional side project as possible. I cannot lose my job.

There is a promise that is made to every American from the day they are born; the promise of Freedom. American history is riddled with lumps of time where that promise is broken (e.g., slavery, genocide of the Native American, et cetera). As far as I see it the only form of Freedom left in this world is ownership. I'm not talking about ownership of material possessions, but ownership of our lives. I am using my employment to finance my dreams and I, my friends, have the gift and curse of being a BIG dreamer. I mean, REALLY big. My dreams cost money to pursue and my only means of financial support is my employment. So you must understand when I say: I cannot lose my job.

I mentioned my idea of freedom. The only way to be free - I mean TRULY free - is to live your dreams. The great thing about our country is that you can do anything you want to do here. If you want to be a professional juggler, then you can be a professional juggler. The horrible thing about our country is that the order of things here make it so hard for us to do what we want to do with our lives. It seems like just when things are going good an election is stolen and a buffoon is handed the responsibility of improving our livelihood. Naturally, said buffoon is a terrible leader and his mistakes drive our country into a recession. If its not ill guided leadership, then its war. Just when things are on the ups a war is started and financed with our tax dollars forcing us to forgo our individual pursuits of happiness to carry out the evil deeds of men. But, apparently war is necessary and my tax payer dollars are necessary for our security and I need to make a contribution, so for that reason....I cannot lose my job.

This is a topic for another blog completely, but there is a domino effect in American culture that makes living our dreams almost impossible. Materialism and a commercial view of what makes anything beautiful makes opportunity exclusive for most of us. Most of us don't feel good enough to live the way we should. We feel unworthy. All too often are confidence and fearlessness viewed as delusions. Its almost at a point where being pessimistic is synonymous with realism. But, what do you expect when 90% of "Reality" Television consists of shows where very talented people are told they aren't good enough and suffer rounds of elimination? I mean, really. We praise these things. We celebrate their inability to rise to the standard of what we think is acceptable.

I'm sick of being afraid and my spirits are beyond weary from the constant anxiety that comes with "uncertain economic times" and not living up to the world's expectations of what makes a real man. I don't know about you, but all my life I've been breaking my back to show everyone what I'm made of rather than MAKING anything of myself. I'm very sick of it. I mean, life just isn't worth living if you're going to be fearful throughout most of it, right?

I'm working very hard on not being afraid. There are times when I have to drop what I'm doing and chant to myself:

Everything will be fine.
Everything will work out.
I'll be alright.

Everything will be fine.
Everything will work out.
I'll be alright.

I am not sure in what capacity GOD intervenes in our lives. I've been trying to figure that out. One thing I am sure of - beyond the shadow of a doubt - is that GOD is out there somewhere and the existence of a higher power is greater than any of you can attempt to explain (don't bother trying). There are tons of different belief systems and theories and perspectives that attempt to explain what GOD wants for us and many of them contradict each other. There is, however, one reigning theme among all religion and belief: There is nothing to be afraid of.

I'm not saying that I'm not afraid, but I know that I shouldn't be and neither should you. Our culture is a culture of exclusion and fear. I've fallen for it. I know this because I spend most of my time on this Earth being afraid of people and afraid of what may happen to me in the future. I'm not living NOW. Knowing this isn't enough to fix it. I know this because I'm still afraid and the only thing I can think about is..."I cannot lose my job." But, I'm aware of my set back and however large it seems to me sometimes....its still minor.

I'm not sure why I'm ranting on and on about this and I don't know why I think its important enough to share with all of you. I honestly don't know. Maybe there is someone out there who is chicken shit like me and needs to know that they're not alone. The Good Lord knows that I feel alone in this. So take from it whatever you like.

I'm scared.
If you're scared, lets hold hands.

Quincy Ledbetter2 Comments