Thursday, February 14, 2013

Risk vs. Reward

You can live your dream or you can live your fears. Someone said that to me a little while back and I've been chewing on it ever since.

That one really hit home. I am not living my dream. I AM living my fears. I am afraid of doing nothing with my life, talents, and education (check), I am afraid that I will rot away in a go nowhere job or move up to one that goes nowhere but pays better so I will be even more afraid to leave an even higher income (double check). I am afraid that I will write and find the courage to send it to someone, to submit the tiny little piece of me that is real, that I don't fake, that isn't plastered with a brittle smile, that has no outer protective skin to someone-and they will rip it to shreds.

And then what?

What would be the worst that would happen? For a couple of days tops, they would remember my name and think to themselves about how bad my writing was, laughing or shaking their head to themselves, then forget me entirely (if I'd even lasted that long in their consciousness.)

I would write again, submit to more publications. Submit my writing. That says something right there. Submit it to public scrutiny, to personal criticism, to the judgement of someone else. Someone who writes, perhaps. I'm giving that and them too much credit.

The fear of criticism, of finding out I am no good at what I love, that is the fear that drives my car to go to work everyday instead. At a place where I am not valued, I am over-qualified and yet treated like a child by someone who can't accomplish what I can. On it's face, it seems quite ridiculous to be in such fear and in being there, to give up all that is good about yourself. Then to sell that time by the hour to someone you don't respect. Someone who lives in their own terrible fear.

So what's the problem? The risk is that I will not make enough money to live my life in the vision I have in my head. The reality is that I am not doing that now. The risk is that someone will criticize my writing and I will have to face that criticism head on, use it constructively and get better. The reality is that would probably be the best thing that could happen.

What separates people that are living their ultimate dream from those that are living their ultimate fear is the drive, the first step, the move towards the goal and away from the safety of a boring life.

I have weighed my choices and I am going to take a leap...feel free to come along for the ride.

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