“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.”
Look around my living room and you’ll see the evidence: crutches, walker, wheelchair. There’s a handicapped parking permit on the way as well. I am down for the count, won’t be able to walk for six weeks, and work is out of the question.
Thank God for State Disability Insurance.
It’s going to be a while before I can resume my regular life, and besides the doctor visits and physical therapy, I’ve got some time on my hands. How to spend it? There’s the TV. Netflix, Vudu, Hulu are all just a remote control away. I could just sit here and get caught up on everything. Even start some new addictions.
But what would that get me? More mid-life angst about not pursuing my dreams, more shame over squandering this gift of time, more worry about the ticking clock of my life. I’ve always been haunted by the thought of being old in that rocking chair, not having made the most of my talents and opportunities, feeling regret over the things I didn’t do. Carrying my music to my grave. So maybe now is the time.
Don’t get me wrong – I’ve done okay for myself. I’m solvent with a good day job, I own my home and have my financial house in order. I provide for my family and we’re okay – not wealthy, not fancy, but reasonably secure.
But there is a gnawing hunger in me for more. Not more things, but more accomplishment. I worry that if I died today I would be quickly forgotten by all but my friends and family. That is not enough to justify the life and abilities I’ve been given.
Now is the time to make something more of myself. To do some creative work, take some chances, and unleash it on the world. Continuing to playing small will not make me happy when I’m old. I need to swing for the fences now while I still have enough life force left in me to step up to the plate.
So here it is. I’m going to build some new habits and challenge myself to produce something. I’ll start with this here blog and see where it takes me. I’m going to fight my fear and perfectionism and put something out there for the world to judge. And if in fact it is good, and it turns out I have something to say that people want to hear, then maybe doors will open and new and exciting things will come into my life. But if it doesn’t, I still win. I’ll be able to sit in that rocking chair and know that at least I went down swinging…