It’s not the same as being brave. Baring your soul in front of a stranger is brave, like asking somebody to listen to your song. Accepting that they will not listen is braver still. But going into the woods is not brave. It is fearless. I like the flash of mortality that accompanies fear; the sudden look down when you reach the top of the tree, the moment of adrenaline when you hit 100mph. The intake of breath and the smile to yourself; this is where the fear lives, except I do not fear it. If you move fast enough fear cannot take root.
Delving deep into the darkest corners of your soul. Or wilfully acting on every whim, on every fleeting desire, with no caution of consequence. That is the kind of fearless that I know. Undertaking things I know nothing about. Creating plans out of thin air. Will this risk pay off? Will he kiss me back? Going into the woods, unsure if you will return. Seeking the place where the wild things are. Poking the wolves with a stick.
I have often been described as fearless. Fearless, and confident, and reckless, and impulsive. I don’t really know if I think I am any of these things, because I don’t really care; I just am the way I am. When I was younger I was probably ignorant of the things I should have been fearful off; a lifetime of being off with fairies has served me well. I suppose my fearlessness manifests itself in a childish way – a nothing-can-scare-me competitive type of fearless. Trying to outrun the world. Trying to prove that I am the fastest, or the bravest, or the strongest.
But I think now I am mostly fearless because I have so little to fear. I curated an entire concert exploring the psychology of fear, the survival instinct behind it, the methods of dealing with it. People talk about overcoming their fears only when they are laden with them; clowns, new places, public speaking, spiders, leaving home, death, nuclear war, finding out everybody hates you. There is no “face your fears and do it anyway” when you are ignorant to disaster. You don’t need to question what you would do if you weren’t afraid, if you are already fearless.
The questions and the longing and the hope for more; it’s all obsolete, you are untouchable. I’ve never felt the dread of the unknown. I cannot imagine a thing that scares me to do one of every day. Because what really can go wrong? Fear cannot reach me here – these woods are mine. Why should I live a life in fear? Why would I settle for that?