failure is the worst thing that can happen
Last night, John + I went on a date + it was food for my soul. He had been away this past weekend + into this week on an annual trip his company takes, so we wanted to take some time to get caught up. Side note: mid-week dates have become one of my favorite things. By the time Friday night rolls around, we are both so drained that it's rarely an opportune time for intentional date night.
The fact that John wants to know about the things I am thinking + doing makes me feel so loved. I finally got a chance to tell him about this feeling I've been having about wanting to incorporate writing more into what I'm already doing. Like I was saying in my post yesterday (which, if you want you can read here), I have been slowly learning to give myself permission to call myself a calligrapher over the past almost two years. This takes time, you guys. And I still have a healthy share of days where I feel like a fraud, so permission isn't really a remedy for fraudulent feelings so much as a defense against it.
As I explained to him what I've been trying to make sense of myself, I realized it's more than just a fleeting interest I have...believe me, I have at least fifteen of those a day so I can tell the difference.
Choosing to not write, at this stage -- and I know this sounds unbearably cheesy, but -- it would leave a hole, one that looks a lot like a tunnel, in my heart + mind as I try to move forward.
Yesterday my whole day got derailed when I picked up Don Miller's "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" from the library. I could not put this book down, you guys. It's the first time I've come close to finishing a book in one sitting. So, do consider reading it, it's a good one. One of the things he says (paraphrasing Steven Pressfield, I think) is that we know how much we need to do something based on the amount of resistance that comes against us as we try.
I can think of a million reasons (excuses) not to write. It feels arrogant to say I need to write, because the implication is that someone needs to read what I write. Either that or it is purely self-indulgent, a selfish and unproductive use of my time. What if people read what I write and I am exposed? What if no one reads what I write and I am left feeling insignificant? What if I offend someone? What if I say something stupid? Who even reads blogs anymore, anyway??
The resistance. It's real. I don't know how this is all going to play out yet, but I do know what my plan is: my plan is to write anyway.
But the next question that faces me is, do I write in secret, or do I encourage others to read what I write? (That means seeing with their eyes and knowing my thoughts. I am not prepared for this. There is no way I am prepared for this.)
This topic came up naturally over the dinner table last night, and I told John that I just need to write for a little while to let the rust come off, then I will tell people. To which he said, "but why wait? You could let people into the process. Let them see it before it's perfect." Which, friends, is at once my worst fear and my deepest desire.
So, I guess I will take a swallow of my own medicine, and do something before I am ready. I'll tell you this is here for you to read, if you want to. But I don't want to do this alone, so if you read this, I want you to tell me. Tell me what the worst thing that could happen is. Tell me about the resistance you are overcoming right now. It turns out, I do hate the idea of speaking into a void, or talking at a wall. I don't really want to keep this all to myself, and all I ask in return is that you deal gently with me at first.
The worst thing that can happen when you being before you're ready, I guess, is failure. But somehow failure seems a lot less bad to me right now than never trying does.
You may be wondering why there is a record player sitting at the top of this post. (Well, there isn't anymore because I got scared of copyright infringement, took it down, and replaced it with these pretty flowers. So imagine there's a cute pink Crosley hanging out on this post.) Thanks to my sister's boyfriend, I recently decided, I want one. It is a music-listening experience that is on another level, you guys. Some things of the past are not dead. Some people still listen to records, some people still write letters by hand, some people still read blogs.