On Saturday night, loosened by alcohol*, my friends and I had a deep conversation. One of the topics: What is the thing that you want that you are too afraid to admit to yourself because you’re afraid you’ll fail, or you’re ashamed, or you’re guilty.

Deep sh*t, right? Take a second to think about your own personal answer to this question.

Here’s my answer: I’m a creative person. If you asked me who I am – as I ask all the interviewees on my identity podcast – I’d say I’m a creator. I want to make things. I have ideas and I want them to take form outside of just my head, like Athena sprung from Zeus. All sorts of ideas: screen stories, audio fiction, documentary podcasts/films, apps, short films, fiction and non-fiction and metafiction novels. I want to CREATE. And what I’ve felt like I want now, having started to dabble into these things more deeply over the past two years, is to be with person who also creates and who pushes me to make my work and make it better, and who I can also inspire to make do their work. A mutual symbiosis. This can be a creative partnership or a romantic/creative partnership. It could also be a close-knit community of creatives with adequate support/nourishment/encouragement.

Basically I feel I can do a lot but myself, but I feel like I would be better with another, a soundboard to push through difficulty. But I also relish working with others and inspiring people to grow (I think this is what draws me to teaching) and I want to be involved in building something that is more than just me.

I think the reason this scares me is that it’s not up to me. Whenever your wants include other people, you give up a part of your control over your happiness because other people are out of your control. I’ve experienced this in interpersonal relationships in the past and also in previous goals I’ve set for myself. (For example, early on in my high school swimming career, I wanted to swim in the Illinois state finals meet. The easiest way to do this would be on a freestyle relay. I could control my own practice and try to improve myself, but I couldn’t control the speed of my teammates or of our competitors.) So I’m afraid because it’s out of my full control. That, combined with my restless, itinerant lifestyle, and I worry I’ll never make roots; I’ll never start building something greater than myself.

So that’s my answer to this “deep” questions. What’s yours?

*Also this post was written while still a lil’ buzzed on the bus ride home, so…

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