Thursday, October 25, 2012

10/26/12—Standing at the Precipice

Today's Draw: The Fool from the Halloween Tarot by Kipling West. What kind of "risk" causes you anxiety, but you take it anyway? What kind of risk scares you so much you just can never bring yourself to it? And, for extra credit, do you have any phobias?

As we know from the recent Hello Kitty post, there are exceptions to my "no cute tarots" and "no cats allowed" rules. And while I don't consider Kipling's art to break those rules egregiously, she DID create a cat deck. And this Halloween deck is pretty cute. And it's got lots of cats in it. So I guess what it comes down to is that I'm just a Kipling West fan, following her ouiji board designs and other art, too. Beneath all the cute is a lot of irreverent, dirty minded thought. And I like that in an artist. 

So, anyway, with Halloween coming up next week, I thought I'd break out the most famous, best-selling and most popular Halloween deck of all. And, yes, there are others. At least one other specifically themed for Halloween (yet NOT A SINGLE DOG DECK!!!), then a bunch of vampire, zombie and other dark-themed decks. Kipling's deck is so popular that it transcends Halloween, though. It's been reprinted numerous times and, in fact, one of my students uses it as her main deck. 

The Fool is about taking risks and jumping off into the unknown. This got me thinking about this weekend. I'm dressing as a gypsy and doing readings at a party again. I hate dressing in costume. And while I like to read, I go in and out of wanting to do it professionally. But the part that pokes at me the most is being around people. 

This will surprise some because I come across as a total extrovert. But I'm not. Every time I have to be "on" in a crowd produces anxiety for me. Again, I don't think you'd ever know it, because I seem all confident and whatnot. And I've been teaching, for example, long enough that that particular scenario doesn't usually get me going. But sometimes it does. And I do it anyway. And I end up really enjoying it, just like I'm really going to enjoy this party. The people hosting it seem great. 

But being a "people person" is something I had to force myself to learn. I remember the biggest leap into the unknown regarding that was when I was starting out as a freelancer. I forced myself to go to networking events so I could spread my name around a little and meet others. I usually did something awkward, like interrupt a conversation to introduce myself. But those outings ultimately taught me that I could hold my own with the extroverts of the world. 

Then I could come home and crawl back into my hidey hole, deprive myself of light and feel normal again. Like a mushroom. 

So that's just one of the buttons this weekend is pushing. They didn't hire a mushroom. Dressing in costume is another. And there are other anxiety-provoking aspects, too. But here's what I know about this situation in particular—all the anxiety comes in the anticipation of it. The second I'm there, I'll be a veritable factory of glee and psychic readiness. I probably won't even want to leave. This is one of those leaps that, though it makes me nervous, I can handle. 

Something like singing in public, however...that would horrify me. So I feel like I should probably do it again before I die. It's not like I haven't done it before. I was in all the musicals and talent shows in high schools and took voice all through college. I even sang in my brother's wedding, but it's one of those things that just makes me back away from the precipice. I think we need things that bring us to that limit. And I think we sometimes need to force ourselves to leap. Only then can we discover what lies beyond. 

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