Pandora Patty emailed me the other night to let me know that although she’s been preoccupied with shit she was finally caught up on my blog. “Wow!” was in the subject line, and “Okay, you’ve been pretty busy, haven’t you Lucretia?” was the comment she left. Yes, I have! For those of you unaware, this blog was my new years resolution, and I think that was her way of saying she’s proud I’m making an effort to keep it. Not just any new years resolution, but one that’s intended to draw me out of my fear. I think I can safely say I crossed that threshold several posts back.
This fear goes back a long way. Early on I loved books, loved words, loved penning my thoughts, poetry, and short stories. Later, my stories became more elaborate and much lengthier. To date, I have not just hundreds, but thousands of pages of unfinished manuscripts tucked away in boxes. These are mine, and mine alone, that only a few sets of eyes have ever seen; and one of them is mine. Why? Because the only thing I ever felt I was truly good at was putting words to paper, and I was afraid that someone would take that away from me. The only thing I ever wanted to do with my life was writing and having my work published, and I was afraid someone would tell me that I couldn’t. Out of fear I sabotaged myself, and ultimately ended up doing what I feared most from others.
I started this blog simply to put myself out there. To say to the world, “I don’t care if you like what I have to say, or how I say it, I’m going to do it anyway.” I’ve read that I should write from the heart, and write what I know. I’m doing just that. For a long while I’ve been hiding: Behind an apron in my marriage, behind other’s opinions with friends and family, behind my fear when I write. I’m finally tired of hiding. At 48 years old it’s about time, don’t you think?
The last few years have probably been the most emotionally trying of my life. I believe because I’d finally reached the point where I thought I was past all the bad stuff, felt I’d paid more than my share of dues and deserved to be happy at last, and never expected the windfall of misfortune to hit me again and when it did. After the series of events occurred that changed my life; the way I think and feel about everything now, I became angry and withdrew. Overnight I crawled in a box and pulled the lid over it. It’s taken me a long time to have the courage to even peer out, let alone step outside the box. The last twelve months I’ve spent preparing myself for the moment when I’d emerge. Today I’m happy to say, I’m finally here.
I don’t know where any of this is going to take me, but I doubt it can be any worse than where I just came from. I think I’m finally ready to dust off those old, manuscripts, put the last chapters on them, and send them in. What’s the worst that could really happen? If they tell me “No. Hell no!” or even “Don’t waste your time; you’d be better off serving drinks for a living.” How’s that any different from where I’ve already been? You can’t throw a person down the stairs when they’re already sitting on the bottom step, can ya?
I know I’m not alone in this. I think all of us have that one, special ‘something’ that we always wanted to do, and shelved it for fear we couldn’t. It could be something as simple as always wanting to explore that exotic, vacation spot, and being afraid to fly there. Or something as profound as wanting to be a doctor, and being daunted by the expense and years of schooling ahead if you tried. There’s always something. I implore you to step out of your box if there is. There’s great satisfaction that can be achieved from courageous moves.