It’s been a little while since I’ve taken the time to look at the upside. That’s not to say that I haven ‘t been optimistic here and there, even through my bout with the flu this past week. There’s been a shift in my perspective however, which gives me pause to consider what some changes could mean for my future, as hazy a picture as it may seem right now. I’ve spent a lot of time looking back and picking apart the decisions I’ve made to relive the failures over and over again, promising myself that I’d do better next time. But when is “next time”? When do I actually make it to the next step? When does the future begin?
I feel like I’m in a state of perpetual waiting. For what, who knows. The stars to align. For me to see the light. The skies to open up so a booming voice from yonder can tell me the secrets of the universe and what my place is in the grand scheme of life. Okay, to be honest, that’s all bullshit. I don’t like the idea of letting fate decide my future while I sit here and do nothing. But the thing is, I do sit here doing just that: nothing. What am I waiting for? I usually have about a dozen answers to that question on any given day. There’s always something that holds me back from taking the next step towards the unknown.
I’ve spoken in the past about fear and how that paralyzes me. But I’m really sick of talking about it. It’s my tell, this urge to over-analyze and break down whatever emotional pathology there is behind my decisions (or rather, lack of action) so that I can bluff my way through life. Sitting here and typing up an upside to cleanly state that I’m going to do this or that now that I’ve had this “epiphany” is easy enough for me. But enough with the easy. It’s time to start getting uncomfortable and take risks.
I met with a friend of mine this week who was brimming with ideas. She could barely sit still for the excitement she had about exploring all of these different avenues for herself. It was fantastic to witness and to lend an ear for her ideas. What was really great, was that I found myself getting swept up by her zeal. We were both excited at the same time, which believe it or not, doesn’t happen very often. We’ve both gotten so bogged down by the minutiae of daily life and our lackluster careers, that usually we don’t meet on the same page about things. That is until now.
She approached me to help her with something that’s crossed my mind once or twice, but I never really thought about seriously. I’m not going to lie, it scares the crap out of me. All the old insecurities kick in, and I’m automatically thinking of ten different reasons why I shouldn’t do it because I’m just not capable. But this time it was a bit different. That negative voice wasn’t as loud as usual. I’d snuffed it in favor of genuine curiosity and enthusiasm for something I’ve never done. It reminded me of when I first started blogging. For years, I had friends suggest that I write but I usually shook them off. I never thought I could do it, until I buckled down and did it. Why should this be any different? The fact is, it isn’t, and I need to remember that.
My recent trip on the nostalgia train which brought me back to my school years, identity issues, and the insecurity of an adult life that looked nothing like I had dreamed about when I was younger, left me sort of lost. This isn’t an unfamiliar feeling as I’ve managed to just drift along forever it seems. I’m really tired of coasting. Like, physically exhausted from the effort of it all. I feel older than my years and on edge about things that ultimately, don’t matter to me.
Some of my circumstances changed the last couple of weeks and that’s allowed me to gain clarity on a few of these realities. At some point, the drifting and doing what’s expected just doesn’t do it for me anymore. I know my roots and I understand the fears, but its not enough to know these things. I need the spark of a risk and of the unknown.
The wonderful part about being in a state of constant self-awareness while leading an unfulfilling life as I am, is that you get this moments of openness that you would otherwise be closed to. Whether or not I take the chance on something completely extraordinary and out of my comfort zone is almost irrelevant to the fact that I’m actually exploring the option. And that’s where I’m finding myself right now while sitting here writing another upside. Exploring. Considering the impossible. Taking mental leaps towards a blurry but bright future and actively building instead of destroying. Looking forward instead of backwards. Poised to take the bet and throw everything I’ve got into it all. Besides, no one ever got anywhere without taking a bit of a risk.
To my friend who got me revved up this week: count me in. 🙂
Looking for my upsides? Check out Bonnie’s site at Recipes Happen for new upsides from bloggers featured each Saturday. Stay healthy can keep paying it forward!