Have you ever stood on the edge of a sidewalk, maybe toes dangling a little bit, wondering if now was the moment you should cross.
Maybe you are wondering if you should dodge and weave traffic; taking a risk to get to whatever treasure awaits you at the other side of the street.
Or maybe doubting your ability to maneuver the potential, or even real, influx of traffic?
Or maybe, you regress somehow to childhood…or maybe even when you were a kid, and you really wanted to cross the street, but you couldn’t decide if you should take the risk and all the potential consequences, ranging from punishment to death, and just cross the street alone.
Or maybe, as you grew older, you stand and wait at the cross walk, waiting and waiting until the red hand stops flashing and the little “go” green man gives you permission to cross.
I feel like I’m standing at the edge of the curb.
And even though I keep getting this energetic momentum telling me to haul ass across the street, I barely waver, maybe leaning forward in response to the flush of energy…giving me a sense of hope in my false start and another disappointing flash of instability.
I’m not sure what I’m waiting for.
And, perhaps, even more importantly, I’m not quite sure what is waiting for me at the other side of the road.
My guess is that I sit and wait…and wonder…because of fear.
Fear of the unknown.
Fear of the consequences of another bad choice.
Probably even fear of failure.
Probably mostly a fear of failure.
Rationally and logically, I know that the ONLY answer is to cross.
But, emotionally, I have this Fear (yes! Capital “F” here) that is keeping my feet glued to the cement that separates me from the road.
And perhaps that is why my productivity has come to a pretty abrupt stop.
And it all hinges on writing.
I have the opportunity to attend three writing “workshops” so to speak – yet, I won’t sign up.
I have two, potentially three, academic conferences that have accepted my work to be presented – yet, I won’t register or confirm.
I have open doors and I am afraid to pass through them.
And perhaps, even worse, I can’t seem to write anything that would need to be prepared for any of them either.
I sit and my computer and stare.
Crack my neck and my knuckles and my back.
Spend some time on my head or upside down (right?! Who does that?! It is supposed to stimulate you and get you thinking and energized again).
And then sit and stare all over again.
I did sit down and power(ish) through a page of changes I needed to make in my dissertation proposal the other day – until I hit some point and thought, “What the fuck was I talking about again?!” and had to go and basically re-create my creations so they were relevant.
But – even that should have been done and turned back in a week ago.
Even on this little writing space, I literally have started EIGHT posts that have been left for forgotten long before they have had a chance to come to life.
Everything is neglected.
Even the family blog I keep of my kids – all pushed to the back-burner for another life.
I know, truly, that I just need to move forward.
As one of my mostest favorite authors would say, I just need to “write like a motherfucker.”
I have nothing to lose.
Well…I guess I have many opportunities that might not (i.e. won’t) knock on my door again if I don’t take advantage of them….so, yeah…I guess I have a lot to lose.
But, I’m afraid of failing.
And in looking at my Little Life’s History, the only important thing that i have ever ‘failed’ at was being married.
And that Failure (again, with a capital F) has wrecked havoc on my world….and that of my kids.
I don’t want to perpetuate the nightmare of Failure.
The consequences of that failure have infiltrated even the once most mundane corners of my life.
Fear of failure is a big one.
I’m not a Writer.
I write stuff.
So – it seems a tiny bit fraudulent to pretend I’m a Writer and pretentious to attend workshops and present research and follow through on book ideas and contributor-ships, when at the end of the day, I’m not a Writer.
I am just a person who writes stuff.
So – it’s kinda a double whammy here.
1) a HUGE fear of failure.
2) a good chance I will fail because I’m not what I’ve been “offered” to be
(ummm…does that even make sense?)
So – taking those together…crossing the street to the land of Writer is horribly HORRIBLY scary.
I’m afraid of the implications and the consequences of failing. And more importantly, I am not quite sure that I am “legit” enough to make it across to the other side…let alone survive once I get there.
Maybe it is another identity crisis.
The last one was from “married” to “divorced” – and now that I have made peace with that…the new crisis is that of professional existence.
Who am I?
And, Can I?
I don’t know.
And my fear is keeping me from finding out.
And although, again, logically, I know this is a ridiculous fear; irrational at best.
But – it is a fear that is sitting heavily on my spirit.
it is sitting so heavily, in fact, that I’ve become frozen under the weight.
Even finishing this silly blog post has taken me days because I can’t figure out what to say, or how to say.
I can’t even decide if what I’m saying is worth say.
The downward spiral.
Not nearly as much fun as the swirly slide at the park I enjoyed as a kid.
There we have it.
My newest, greatest fear.
Fear of trying to become something that I have always wanted to be, but have never pursued.
Fear of failing…mainly because failing is painful.
And after the last two years of pain, I’m tired of hurting.
But, knowing me.
And I’ll write all the academic stuff that I am apparently quite good at.
And I’ll write stuff in the Candy Jar becasue it is a great place to get my “sailor talk” on and a place to take a deep breath of life.
And I’ll write.
The books and articles and journals that one day might turn into something meaningful.
Yet, I’ll write without pressure and expectation.
And really, since I have the “potty mouth” writer of the year thing happening,
I’ll write just the way Cheryl Stayed suggested,
I’ll write like a MotherFucker and see what the Fuck happens.
And on that note.