Thursday, December 26, 2013

Stepping out of the Light

Yesterday I was sitting in my living looking around. I started thinking about my year and about the next year and what I would like to do differently. I realized that my entire life, I have been playing it safe.

 I can easily say that the most rebellious thing I have really ever done was sneak to a party in high school.

 The best part: I never even got into the party because a friend and I ran into the group we were meeting up with and they told us a bunch of the seniors were drinking alcohol and being idiots so we left. I still was grounded (rightfully so) for lying.

Even during college my idea of rebelling was coming in more than 10 minutes late for curfew, (our university had a curfew for students to keep troublemaking to the minimum.) I have never even colored my hair any shade of unnatural color.  

I don’t drink, smoke or do drugs and I dress conservatively, and I am happy with that. I am happy being a mom and a wife. I love my family… they are my happiness. I am not looking to jump ship and flip my life into some irresponsible course of debauchery chaos. I am just not satisfied with me. I don’t want my girls growing up without a sense of adventure. I have always found joy in reading and writing and I think, at some point, I started hiding in my books and papers. I am always thinking about the result instead of just doing something and waiting to see what happens next.

My kids and I really enjoy watching the movie “The Croods.” In one scene, the oldest daughter (Eep) is arguing with her dad (Grug) about her decision to leave their cave and explore the world. This is the conversation they have:

Eep: Dad, you have to stop worrying about us.
Grug: But it's my job to worry! It's my job to follow the rules.
Eep: The rules don't work out here.
Grug: They kept us alive.
Eep: That wasn't LIVING! That was just.... "Not Dying"! There's a difference.

I feel like I am in a constant state of just “not dying.” I’m too afraid to take risks, too afraid to do anything and too afraid to live. I have been struggling with my weight for a few years and I think that part of the reason is because I’m afraid to lose weight. What if I lose weight and I’m not happy? What if giving up my favorite foods is too hard? What if … what if… what if… 

I finished a novel two years ago but I never edited it and never sent it in. Why would I do that? I tell people it’s because I don’t have time but that’s an excuse. What I really should say is that I don’t edit it because if I did, I’d have no reason not to submit it to an editor. And, if I turn it into an editor, I’ll have to deal with possible rejection… or worse success. Success means more unknown factors more potential changes and that’s scary.

So my big goal for the year is to stop being afraid. I am so tired of just not dying. I want to really live. I want to make BIG goals and finish them because it is hard. I want to do something a little off kilter just to see what happens. I want to try something new and embrace the fear that comes with being the new one in the room.

My first item on the to-do list this next year: I’m going to do something out of character with my hair. Yes, I am 30 and I probably should have tackled this baby step in my teens or 20s, but I’m embracing the too-old-to-be-cool-with-purple-hair and I’m going to do it.

What else do you think I should try this year? 

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