“A year from now you may wish you had started today.” -Karen Lamb
It’s not the first time I’ve heard that quote, but it is the first time that quote struck me as hard as it did tonight. Why did it strike me in this way? Because I’ve been yearning, wishing, praying, for something more. Sure, I’m a wife, an educator, a sister, a friend, but I want to be more. For some reason, that’s not enough for me. I’m not sure what that “more” is, but maybe it’s being a writer. I’ve abandoned so many ideas in my life because of that fear of failure. “It’s too late to do that” or “I’m too old to start now” have always been my thoughts when I’ve considered new things. Sure, I had these thoughts when the thought of a blog came to mind. But the desire to share a bit of myself with the world is stronger and more persistent than those negative thoughts that have overwhelmed me for years.
I’ve been considering starting a blog for a while. But other than teaching, Disney, and my random musings, I don’t have much to write about so I’ve put it off because of that. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in English so I like to think, although a bit rusty from being out of practice, I can be a pretty decent writer. I think back to my high school days when I wrote in my journal, long gone by now, and never shared with anyone but myself. I enjoyed it though – it was my creative outlet, a way to process my thoughts and emotions. I guess this is sort of the same, only with an audience. Which brings me to my next point – why do this publicly for everyone to see? A conversation with my cousin made me seriously consider this. We started discussing ourselves – our anxieties, our emotions, our fears, and our thoughts about life. I brought up wanting something more, something different, and it was the first time I’d been so raw and open with someone other than my husband. Maybe I’d become braver, but maybe it was thanks to the sparkling wine from Miracle. Whatever it was, it felt good. It felt good to get it out, to voice my thoughts with such certainty, without fear of judgement. She asked me why I was holding back, why I wasn’t trying new things and exposing my thoughts to the world. I didn’t have an answer, other than fear – that crippling fear and anxiety that consumes me when the thought of trying new things comes up. I asked her “what if it sucks? What if I fail?” Her answer was “so what?”. It was so simple, yet so profound. If I fail at this, what do I have to lose? And who even decides if I fail or if I succeed? What does it even matter?
And that conversation, ladies and gentlemen, is the answer to why I am doing this, and why I am exposing myself publicly. Because it feels good – voicing your thoughts, being creative, having an outlet – it just feels good.
My husband has encouraged me to start writing for years, but I didn’t start because of those nagging negative thoughts that often turn my mind into a prison of fear and worry. I didn’t start because of the fear of failure, the fear of not being good enough. But today, I did. I started. Because that fear of failure or not being good enough has transformed into a fear of not starting soon enough.
Welcome. It’s going to be a turbulent and unexpected ride.