It can keep us alive in any number of situations. It is a natural response to certain types of stimuli. It can also prevent us from being our best or at least trying to reach our goals.
Is that really so bad?
Maybe not being our best is, but is not trying to reach one's goals really such a horrible thing? Here's a nasty little fucking fact that many people seem to overlook when it's convenient.
Not everyone reaches their goals.
In fact, I would guess that about 90% of the population didn't get all that close. Who wants to be an office manger when they grow up? Or work in call center? As a janitor, waiter, sales rep, or just be stuck in a goddamned cubicle performing some crappy mundane, mind numbing task? No one I know. Yet, these jobs all exist. Hell, there are people lining up for them and being turned away because our economy is in the shitter. But, here's the thing. If you don't try, you won't fail.
It's almost a Bhuddist thing. Attachment is the root of suffering and all that. Or, maybe being cowardly about something means never knowing the sting of failure. Is it better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all? From where I sit, at this point in my life - I'm not sure.
It came to me recently that I've never really succeeded at anything. Yes, I've recorded music, and reached a few goals in that department; but I've never made a living at it. Never got close, really. So I sit here, a middle aged man of 45, wondering how much different my life would have been had I not bothered to try. I suppose that's not really true. I can't honestly say that young me would have never made a go of it. I was convinced I'd get there. However, it would be accurate to say that I wonder if I should bother with it any more.
Why? Because I'm afraid.
I'm afraid of continuing to fail. It fucking hurts. It's demoralizing. I really don't wanna do it any fucking more. If history is any indicator, my only real option is not to try. That ensures I won't fail. Trouble is that little spark of hope, that flicker of a dream, that one last fading ember in the dying fire of optimism - it never quite goes out. So, maybe I try something different. Maybe I take a different approach. Maybe i keep making music, maybe I try writing a book. After all, what's stopping me?
You know what?