I'm not saying that everyone should swim with sharks, but sometimes you have to jump over your own shadow in order to learn something that you will never forget for the rest of your life. Then you know you can conquer your fears.
I didn't want to be the archetypal sponging brother-in-law, so I didn't go into acting when I got to the States. I thought, 'No, I'll go to school and then I'll be an English teacher that'll be fun.' But I was horrible as a teacher. As hard as I tried, I just couldn't inspire those kids to take an interest in Milton and Shakespeare and Donne.
Few people ask from books what books can give us. Most commonly we come to books with blurred and divided minds, asking of fiction that it shall be true, of poetry that it shall be false, of biography that it shall be flattering, of history that it shall enforce our own prejudices. If we could banish all such preconceptions when we read, that would be an admirable beginning.
I grew up in a family that was multifaceted, sexually oriented, and pretty much open to everything. And because I was working, my friends were all adults. I had a tough time going to different schools because people knew me from films and I was the fat child who got beaten up every day.