Over the past weekend, there was a series of events called ‘Side Walks’. It was organised by Centre For Stories (www.centreforstories.com) and as a Hot Desk Fellowship winner, I was invited to participate. I was on a panel discussion.
Was it smooth sailing from start to finish?
No, it wasn’t.
Okay, so the no is more about myself rather the event itself. The event went without a hitch. Great venue, loads of people in attendance and we had an awesome conversation.
The no is more about me warding off my personal demons right up to the very second that I began speaking at the event. Here’s the thing: the book I chose was The Shining by the one and only Stephen King. Odd choice, you might think?
Let me quickly tell you: this book is more than just a horror story. It is a story of heart, of honesty and above all else, a story about love shining through even the most monstrous clouds. If you haven’t read it, go ahead and do it. You won’t regret it. There’s a reason why this novel is celebrated like it is.
And no, it is nothing like the film.
But anyway, back to warding off personal demons. One of the reasons I loved this book was because it taught me that doubt, fear, self-loathing, flaws are all part of us, of who we are as humans.
Some of us are able to deal with those things with relative ease whereas others, like myself, often have trouble dealing with them on a daily basis.
For the purpose of this little blog post, I will focus on the main thing that plagued me right up to the panel discussion. I was plagued by the thought that I was not good enough, not smart enough, not interesting enough to be part of something like that.
Self-doubt is always there but quite often it rears its ugly head at the worst possible time.
It took me a long time to be able to deal with this sort of stuff. I focus on myself and focus on what makes me happy. While this disgusting storm was raging in my head, I listened to my heart. It reminded me of how much I loved sharing with others, how much being a storyteller mattered to me and how incredible it was to be surrounded by people who cared about stories and how powerful they could be. How life-changing they could be.
By doing that, the ugly thoughts dissipated and I could enter the conversation with passion and no holds barred.
The event was about a book that changed our lives. The book that came to my mind straight away was Stephen King’s masterpiece. The Shining made me cry. The first book to do so. It made me see that no matter how dark things can get in your head, there is always hope and there is always light. Nothing stays dark forever. As sappy as it sounds: love truly shines through everything. No matter how much those personal demons take over, no matter how much power you think they have, there is always a spark amidst the darkness.
A spark that can ignite a flame bright enough to shine through all the bullshit those demons try to spew at you.
I love being a writer. I love being called a writer. I love sharing my thoughts with people. We all have something to say if we allow ourselves to do so.
Being part of an event like this made me really happy.
And what I know is this: it’s only the beginning.