Of course, a lot of what the Universe tells me seems to come from blog posts. Yeah, I need to get out more. 🙂
So what are some of these revelations?
Somewhere down the roads I’ve traveled, I made a wrongheaded choice. I always thought so, but I didn’t know what the choice was. I had some suspicions, but I needed proof. It came from reading this post on Seth Godin’s blog.
I watch too much, and I participate too little. I don’t act. I don’t step out.
Sometimes I don’t because I really am not interested in the activity–that’s okay. We shouldn’t all be interested in every little thing. But in another way I make the wrong choice… because I don’t want to look bad. It’s silly of me, I guess (I use that word, that silly word so casually, but it’s not silly; the word is the right word, but it’s not too), but I cringe at the possibility of humiliation.
When there is a risk of being humiliated, my head and stomach roil, a ball of grade school and high school memories that I have to drag myself out from. Alive once more come the days when I felt I had nowhere safe to be, days I would hide in my parent’s car when the bus went by, even though I knew what would happen when my parents found out I would skipped school because the thought of going there hurt so much.
I have a story of a knife-shaped letter opener, the Hudson River and my dog that I might be able to tell someday. I’m not there yet… it’s as much because I find my failure that day nearly as humiliating and painful as the reasons that brought me to that place.
Last week I read this article from the New York Times online magazine… Some of the research in it was eye-opening. I thought about the people I still knew from high school, about the things they posted on their Facebook statuses, how I was afraid to even post the link to my Writer Page for fear I would draw their attention to me and who I was–who I was over 25 years ago.
Yes, it’s been that long. It’s been that long, and it doesn’t take more than a few status messages to remind me of something: I managed to get through high school with little more than a missing letter opener and some visits to those nice people in the clean white suits because I had a few “people who didn’t know me for me” experiences.
Being around people who didn’t know my past allowed me to be myself and didn’t laugh. A summer camp, a chorus filled with adults who were well past the high school “fluff” (though at the time I believed they knew all my horrid secrets and were humoring me)… I had a mostly amazing experience at NYSSSA between grades 11 and 12 (mostly, because it was also my first “real” experience with a boyfriend beyond handholding and some kisses…and it ended badly).
I’m not complaining.
In the grand scheme of things, I have a wonderful life that I never could have imagined (well, beyond childhood fantasies of being a queen who ruled the world and lived in a department store where all the jewelry and pretty clothes were there for me to enjoy…). Yes, life is in general good. But it’s only as good as I have allowed myself to avoid letting myself be a risk taker.
I need to take risks if I want to actually be more than just a homemaker, just a wife and a mother. Those things are good things, but I’ve always wanted more. I want more for me. My husband wishes more for me. He knows that I am not doing things that make me feel fulfilled.
So doing matters.
For the moment, it’s about writing this blog post. It’s about admitting things that scare me about myself and the future. It’s not about waiting for someone else to say they accept me before I act. It’s about finishing Release and publishing it. It’s about putting my photos out there for the world to see. And it’s about doing it…again and again and again.
I don’t actually know where the future will lead me. I do know that my journeys in challenges such as the ROW80 and the2013 Goodreads Challenge are steps along the way. I know that trying things like the Facebook 365 Project where I must post and take a picture a day offers another way to step out from behind the curtain.
I’ve made progress in all three of those. Perhaps I haven’t reached all the bullet marks on my goals list… I did plenty. Plus I’ve taken out my drawing supplies and tried something new. I’ve committed to joining a writing challenge… tomorrow.
More than just baby steps…
And that leads me to close with this post by Kristen Lamb about feeling overwhelmed by Social Media and how we can survive it by being honest about our limitations. I haven’t figured out all my limitations, but I am starting to learn how to plan things better, to check before I commit, to say yes with confidence and not hope and uncertainty… I’m even learning how to say no on occasion.
- The secrets of the universe: Silken threads that knit heaven and earth together part 2 (Photo credit: pb photoworks)