Monday, February 23, 2015

A new thing. (Also, I suck at titles....)

Starting things is hard.

Or, at least, for me it is. If you are an incredible starter-of-things – if it’s like, your super power -- maybe you can’t relate. But for me, I excel at procrastination.

I used to think it was because I was lazy. I must be too lazy to start something new, too lazy to make an effort, to make my always-moving brain just STOP and focus on one thing at a time, for the love!

But the truth is, I’m not lazy. In fact, I have an over-developed sense of guilt when it comes to “Doing Nothing”.  I rarely sit down when I’m home. There is always another dish to wash, another load of laundry to start or to fold, another kid’s homework to check, another meal to be prepared. I know that the minute I sit I will be compelled to get back up, so sitting is pretty much a wasted effort. Sitting feels uncomfortable, and not just because of my 15-year-old sofa with no lumbar support. It’s uncomfortable because it goes against my internal instincts of DOING ALL THE STUFF, ALL THE TIME, from morning to night.

So why is starting things hard? I think it’s because starting something new means I could fail at it.

Everything I’m doing now, the stuff that’s not new, the routine stuff – I know I can do it. I may not do it well every day, I may not do it with a smile, I may do it with considerable impatience and eye-rolling, or not to the best of my ability, but I know I am capable of it. Preparing tacos for dinner – easily done. Updating project plans and leading meetings – check. Folding dozens of small sets of underwear – no problem. Finding matches for all the socks……hmm….moving on….

But something new? Maybe I won’t be able to do that. Maybe I will crash and burn. And it’s one thing to butcher a new recipe for dinner or to wonder why I thought that lipstick color looked good on me at the store – those are fairly private failures. But creating something and throwing it out there for the world (or, let’s be honest, my husband and maybe three friends) to read, dissect, comment on, or – maybe worse – for everyone to ignore? That’s public. And a little terrifying.

So, yes. Starting new things, like a blog, is hard. And being real and vulnerable about the hard things is also hard. THAT, I think, is universal. Everyone understands that – that letting people see the soft pulpy innards of you – the “real you” – is uncomfortable and scary. Having a handy mask nearby to don in public, using humor as a defense mechanism to joke about the real feeling stuff, burying ideas and feelings that might not be acceptable to others – we can get really good at that. Again, this is another area in which I excel. I could teach a class on it, I think. Except that would be another new thing…argh!! Never mind!

Here’s the deal. I want to write. I miss it. I miss having a creative outlet, being able to express that part of me that is more than just all the things I do every day. And again – that’s universal. We all have a soul, and a creative part of ourselves, that is longing to get out and BE SEEN. We can deny it and ignore it, but at a cost. Perhaps the cost is a sense of loss, or a smoldering resentment, or a restless discontent. Sometimes we can ignore this part of ourselves for so long we forget it even exists.

So, here I am. And here you are, if you have managed to hang in here this long! I have taken my first small step in my new thing. If you’re feeling brave, desperate, and maybe a little willing to look foolish as well, I’d love to hear about YOUR first step in your new thing.

More steps coming soon…