It’s hard for me to state the bravest thing I’ve ever done. I feel like the act of bravery is getting the butterflies in the stomach, the shortness of breath, the irregular heartbeat. Similar to the feeling you get when you are doing something you know is horrible. Some things that I say out loud that cause that weird sensation are probably the bravest things I’ve done. But for the life of me, I can’t remember what I said or when. I just remember the feeling, the sting of tears in my eyes as I shared something completely genuine, something from the heart.
Most of the “brave” decisions I’ve made were driven by fear. I could say that the bravest thing I ever did was create my own videos. For years, I worked on projects, helped other people’s voices reach viewers, as I stood silently by setting up a camera, schlepping equipment and the like. My silence was out of fear of not being good enough. But I feel like finally making my own stuff was out of fear of being unheard. I can be very soft-spoken at times, and am so terrified of not being accepted, that I keep most of my opinions to myself. The more opinions I give, the softer my voice gets. I deflect with humor and profanity to keep everyone at arm’s length. So writing was always my soundboard, as it is for many writers. I’m a fucking cliche that way.
Does it make me brave to put my work out there for the world to see? Maybe. I remember posting my first episode, the quiet sense of terror I felt – like now everyone knew my secret. Whatever that secret was. They knew more about me, about what I care deeply about. I felt exposed, like walking through an open firing range without a vest. And the funny thing is, I don’t think that’ll ever go away for me as I continue to make things. However, as afraid as I was sharing my work, I loved every moment of making it. Brave? I wouldn’t call myself brave, nor would I call the things I do brave. I’m just afraid of being left behind, of disappearing with no record of who I am or what I am capable of.
~ Katherine Murray-Satchell
Los Angeles, CA