I wish I could say I remember it perfectly, but it’s all rather fuzzy. I found myself trapped in fucked-up Alice in Wonderland-esque world. I found myself walking through mirrors, leaping into tea cups, and passing giant mushrooms, going through endless transitions. No matter where I went I just found myself in more abstract weirdness, continually trapped and increasingly frustrated.
Other people were trapped in the world too. Some were greedily seeking treasures, others just wanting to be good people. We were all stuck and unable to find a way out.
Eventually my frustration and desperation reached a climax. I screamed like I never had screamed before, all of my emotions thrown out of me. It was all of my anger, my frustration completely raw and uncensored thrown at an unseen wall. I shouted, “Fuck You!”, I punched, I screamed, I released every nasty real thing inside of me all at once. The world around me fell into shreds. I was taken back to reality.
Back in “the real world” I found myself told by a person, “we should go back, that place has so much to offer.”
My natural response was fuck that. I don’t want to get stuck there ever again. It was in that moment, I received clarity.
The person said “Leaving that place is easy. That world doesn’t care about you. It cares about one thing and one thing only. Are you willing to do whatever it takes?”
I woke up after that sentence, somehow understanding something I did not before. I knew that connecting to an audience meant being as raw and authentic as possible. It meant getting real with your feelings, your fears, and your thoughts. It meant throwing yourself, no holds barred at the situation in front of you. I thought this meant sharing myself with people the way, I did with my friends, but it’s even more raw than that.
Being authentic means being that guy trying to break free from that trapped world. It means cursing like a fucking sailor, releasing every emotion I’ve truly felt. It means telling you how pissed I’ve been struggling in my career, sharing all the times I’ve both wanted to say “fuck you” and “I love you” to my ex-wife, it means sharing how desperate and needy I am and how scared I am to never have the kindness and care I want in my life, it means sharing every pain I have, and every joy I experience. And with all that, I have a new challenge in my life, to get real, to do whatever it takes.