The Essence of Lace: My “F-word” Is “Fear”

What makes you happy? Music? Pets? Family?
For me, it’s those wacky-waving-inflatable-tube-men with their goofy smiles (and the best dance moves ever imagined) make me happy– bar none. Even if I was having the worst day of my life, spotting one of those care-free fellas would make me smile! If I were to dig deeper, I’d say facing my fears is what makes me most happy. Just like hearing a curse word, fear, both physical and emotional, evokes a range of thoughts and feelings. Facing those fears facilitates self-actualization, discovering your essence.

I have been a music lover and writer for as long as I can remember. It started with playing on a plastic keyboard and writing in one of those Lisa Frank notebooks. Later, I created tunes on my acoustic guitar and recorded my thoughts in a journal free of hot pink pages (okay, it has cats on the front and they’re adorable).

So, what does that have to do with facing my fears? Well, despite all my compositions, I rarely shared my work with others. If you’re wondering why not?, I guess my main concern was being misunderstood. What if someone didn’t understand where I was coming from? The more I thought about it, the more silly it seemed. The main thing that I love about music, art, and writing is that these forms of expression are open to interpretation. Perception is not universal and that’s such a beautiful thing. That’s why I decided to face my fear.

I participated in a local art gallery and open mic event–I couldn’t have been more pleased with the results! Aside from playing a song here or there with close friends, I had never played music, let alone read some of my writing in public. I attended the event alone, determined to expose myself.

Laci_webI was nervous. However, those nerves soon dissolved as I was greeted with the most welcoming atmosphere I have ever experienced. Everyone who attended the event was very kind and open-minded. I read two original pieces, performed two cover songs on my guitar, and submitted a photograph to be shown in the gallery. (It was accepted!)

Complete strangers approached me and expressed how much they enjoyed my performance; I was in shock. It felt wonderful to have an impact on someone else’s life. In addition, I faced a major fear which had kept me in artistic seclusion for far too long. I felt a physical difference as well: my heart and mind were less congested. I felt more whole.

I faced my fear and was rewarded with happiness on so many different levels. I almost feel foolish that I hadn’t challenged myself sooner–only to quickly remind myself that feeling foolish is the last thing that needed to cloud my experience.

I have made a promise to myself to continue on this journey of finding my true essence and what makes me happy (which includes sharing my art with others). Now, if only I could force myself to hit the “purchase deal” button for that sky-diving Groupon.

In due time.

Laci Radford is an Instructor and Research Specialist at the East Columbia Branch (while her home branch, in Savage, is being renovated). She is a music lover, writer, and an avid reader. She enjoys attending concerts, plays, and other forms of live entertainment. Her favorite activities include scoping out unique items at thrift stores, bonfires with friends, and having tie-dye parties. She is studying Psychology and plans to become a music and art therapist sooner rather than later.

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