Journal

Improvisation

5 March 2016

033fear

I’m on an airplane. I don’t know where I’m going. I don’t know more than half a sentence about myself. All I know is that I’m falling fast enough to feel myself soaring.

Improvisation. The word alone makes me shiver. Dance floors. New groups. Blank pages. Jam sessions. They’ve all had me run away in tears because my mind goes numb when I search too hard for the right things to do or say or write or play.

I know my fear of improvising is the biggest hurdle to my own creativity. The worrying part of me turns what could be as simple as placing one word after another into a writer’s deathmatch. It transforms the first little step of each creative project into an unsurmountable wall.

Since I left Sweden six weeks ago, I’ve been listening more closely to another part of me. A part that is sick of worrying. A part that keeps an eye out for scary things and whispers I want to do that. A part that signs me up for events and schedules interviews and stirs up a new flight of butterflies in my stomach every time I try to slip into safety.

In reality, the airplane is three white plastic chairs in a row, forming an impromptu stage on the top floor of a café in Chiang Mai. I’m nearing the end of a two-hour class in improvisation theatre. It might be the most terrifying challenge I’ve ever given myself.

I still have no idea where I’m going, but I know the only thing I need to do is stay where I am long enough to find out.