The Terror of Dreams Coming True

I just asked my man if I could have an hour to myself. I shut the bedroom door and closed the curtains and turned off all the lights and I crawled into bed and pulled the covers up tight around me. I cocooned myself in.

My dream came true last week. I started hosting my own radio show. One hour every single night talking about whatever I want. Live.

This was my pan-ultimate life goal and I had been building the steps to make it happen. I’d been freelancing for CBC radio for a decade for experience and credibility. I was writing a book so I’d have more audience reach and I was working on Trying To Be Good the website tirelessly, to prove my integrity and style. I assumed that maybe I could get a show in my late 40’s, early 50’s after a few books were published, but it happened much sooner than that.

I started last week.

And of course the first thing that comes to mind when a dream comes true is:

“Fireworks” and “horses jumping over canyons” and winning a race” and “bling bling!”

But my first thought was: I can’t do it.

My second thought was: I’ll never be able to do it.

My third thought was: How do I get out of it?

The day before the first show aired I couldn’t sleep, in the grips of a panic attack. My husband had to put his hand my chest to prove that my heart wasn’t beating out of my chest.

The fear was so intense I didn’t know if I could go outside.

The self-shaming was making my breath shallow.

I took nervous shits all day and felt nauseous.

It wasn’t the normal nerves I get before a big show, those are peppered with adrenaline and excitement. This was the deepest, oldest kind of terror. It consumed me.

I did the first show and I did a good job but that wasn’t the point. After I came home the panic rose again. Again with the heart pounding, nervous shitting, belly cramping, not sleeping horror.

After I came home the panic rose again. And again with the heart pounding, nervous shitting, belly cramping, not sleeping horror.

I can’t do this. This is too much. I’m bad. I can’t take it. 

The next night, after not eating and mostly fretting all day, I drove to the studio again. When the red light flashed to live, the fear dissipated, my belly softened and suddenly I was there, present with my guest and enjoying myself. I heard her. I felt her. I was in my easy place.

But again, when I got home, the tight chest would kick back in and the mind demons came back.

And this surprised me because I’d been ready for this for years; more than ready.

I was lit up.

I was all of me.

I was made for this.

My light was on and my guests could feel it and the listeners knew it and this terror wall was fucking all that good shit up.

I told my step-mom about my self-hating-horror party and she said that it sounded like my ego was getting burned. She said that hearing me on the radio was the purest form of me she’d ever heard, there was no cynicism or caustic jokes or harshness, there was only presence and love and the ego hates that shit so I was going through some sort of inner epic battle of ego against soul and my job was to just hold on and watch myself burn to ash. She told me to feel the pain and keep working because something important was happening and it was supposed to hurt. Birth does.

So here are the first ever 5 Trying to Be Good radio shows.

Danielle LaPorte: Worthiness, the dark side of the self-help business and integrity at all costs.

Bill Richardson: Talking with my radio hero? Do you feel like a success? What am I doing wrong in this interview (he tells me)

Dawn Petten: A sex-pert who tells me the politics of why I’m such a prude. She also reads questions about sex from a grade 4 class.

Jody Kay Marklew: The best mom in Vancouver, just kidding. Jody talks about Motherhood as a spiritual practice and how even when it grinds her down, she’s grateful.

Advice Column Fridays:  The theme was “how can I change?” These ones were tough.

I’m really proud of these people and our interviews. We went deep.

And I’m going to do it again next week, and the next, and the next, with terror hanging out right beside me in my tote bag.

Honestly, I can’t believe it. #1 That my dream came true, but even more so, how deeply it scared me.

So, I’m nesting today. I’m petting myself like a kitten. I’ve got the covers pulled up high and the door closed and I’m writing to you.

Bw careful what you wish for, because when you get it, you’re going to freak the fuck out.

Love

Emelia

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