“Didn’t I conquer this last year?” Echoes in my brain, out of the AirPods, over the strings of an acoustic guitar. And if I’m being honest with myself the answer can only be, No. I’m here again, as I have been my whole life. Wanting and unwanted. Chasing and waiting. Useful and so used because of fear. I produced and co-wrote The Art of Letting Go but sure seem not to know how to take my own advice. How can I be eloquent and refuse to use a part of my vocabulary because I am in terror at the possible repercussions? Why aren’t I more in fear of the realities that unspoken words have produced in my life already? The damage has been done. Deep are the crevices, ravines and the abyss that exist in my emotional, mental, physical and spiritual well-being because I chose not to speak up. I let down those closest to me. I put down myself, diminishing my character to not upset the status quo, nor the waves that produced ripples of misery like water torture on my life. All because of fear. I won’t throw myself down the stairs of What If? And run through the circuit of Where I Would Be Now if I stood at even half my height. I have a choice today as I do every other day: How will I stand? Tall, with intention and direction or will I continue to slouch until I am a hunchback of a man? How is it that I’m able to advocate for others but continually take a vow of silence for my needs, wants and desires? The silence is deafening and I’m already down one sense.