Friday, February 11, 2011

Slap Your Face Friday

It’s Friday!!  Come a little closer so I can slap your face!!  Last week you read about my mom.  This week I won’t be morbid, I promise.  

People all around us are wandering through their days, in and out of nights, waiting for their real lives to start.  In the worst cases people have forgotten that they’re waiting for life to start, and they’re automatons...just getting through each day till the next.  Are you one of those people?

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?  If failure wasn’t possible, if money wasn’t an issue and you KNEW whatever “it” is would work, what would you do?   

Maybe you've always wanted to knit a blanket, bungee jump from a bridge, take a trip to Europe, or go back to school for forestry.  What’s the THING you’d do if there weren’t ANY constraints on your doing it?

Pretend there’s no way to talk yourself out of it.  Every contingency that you can think of has a positive outcome.  Every time you think of the reason why you can’t, remind yourself, “No, that won’t happen”.  Allow yourself the luxury of not talking yourself out of it before it even grows legs.  

Here is an example;  let’s say that a person has always wanted to write, but squandered the opportunities during college and just got the English Lit degree with no real backing.  No yearbook or school newspaper experience, no internships anywhere...theoretically speaking.  Then let’s say that same person got out of college and never once got a job using said degree, or said desire for writing.  And now it’s a couple of years later, and by a couple we mean two...two times eight.  So fine.  It’s sixteen years later.  

SIXTEEN YEARS LATER!!  There’s some schlub out there who’s been waiting sixteen years for a thing to just happen.  Idiotic right?

And then I (oops, I guess now you know it’s me...) read a book where the character is waiting for A SIGN FROM GOD that he should make a change because he’s miserable in his seemingly successful life.  And as he drives under an overpass a homeless looking man is standing up there holding a sign that says:  WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU KNEW YOU COULD NOT FAIL?  And if that wasn’t a sign enough, literally, for this poor fool, the homeless man drops the sign and it lands directly on his windshield.  (The book is At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream: Misadventures in Search of the Simple Life by Wade Rouse.)

Check it out readers:  all you can see right now is the same question.


Here’s what I did:  I quit a super comfy job.  It was close to home, flexible in hours, reasonably well paying, and it really served its purpose.  I was a fool to quit.  However, I knew for sure that there was no way I was ever going to make a go of writing unless I was ready to take a giant leap of faith and TRY.

Now I’m doing this, and I’m sort of still waiting for the right person to read this and think, “Wow!  That chick can write!  And I’ll pay her to write some stuff for me.”  (Actually one person already said the first part of that, but not the part about paying me.)  The point is I’m taking the leap, and I’m getting myself out there in the wide world.

Initially, when I was scared and thinking I was making a huge mistake, I did it anyway.  I decided that I had to take at least the first step and ASSUME I CANNOT FAIL.  I have that luxury because I’m not the main income of our home and my husband is ridiculously supportive.  But what’s happened since is that I’m disgustingly happy.  

Honestly, I don’t even LIKE myself anymore because I’m so happy.  I mean, really...who wants to hang around someone like that?!

What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

Decide that a dream that’s tucked into the very back corner of your brain is worth getting a little sunshine every now and then.

Let your brain be still for two and a half seconds and let the thing, whatever it is, come to you.  See what you’ve been squelching.  You know, little boys who are now fathers with very big jobs can still be volunteer fire fighters....and little girls who are now moms with wages can still take ballet lessons.  Sometimes they can even go buy a plasma cutter and start making a living.  

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go dance around and giggle, because I just did the one thing in this whole world that makes me deliriously happy to be myself.  I really really hope you feel this way too...or are about to take that first step towards it.


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