We can not grow alone.
I realized fairly recently that a major theme of Antiartists deals with the strange impulse we have to connect with one another, to have people around, even if they are clearly bad for us, even if they are poison, even if we hate the world around us, we can't stand feeling alone.
If we want to grow, we need others around to challenge our ideas, to tell us when we are being obtuse or unreasonable, to give us new information, to give us a different perspective.
Like it or not, we need each other.
This is a problem of mine. I don't trust people with anything I care about. And I have found myself having to reach out to strangers, having to expose myself to criticism, leaving myself open to rejection and disappointment. Even this, writing these strange little public journal entries makes me feel nervous and exposed, and I have to struggle with my honesty.
Because someone may read this, may judge me harshly, might reach a mistaken conclusion about who I am.
Or worse: they might reach an accurate conclusion about who I am.
I have a face, a plastic smiley-mask that I show to co-workers, to strangers and acquaintances at social gatherings, to people I interact with everyday. I have a public persona that I can drape over my shoulders, a warm soft cloak to hide inside, and he is funny and likeable and doesn't ever, ever speak without a trace of sarcasm, without a wisp of disdain for everything. I can hide behind a shield of snark and aloof irreverence, and feel safe.
Yet, I have this thing, this work of mine, this strange little book that I want, somehow need, to share with others and that means I have to come out from behind these things, my mask and cloak and shield, and I have to expose myself and it makes me scared and nervous.
Understand: I'm a big boy, over six feet, a hefty side of beef, and I just wrote that I'm scared that people won't like what I have done, that their judgement of my work reflects somehow on my own worth.
I swear, I'm a fucking child.
So it goes.