A few days ago, I went out on a limb (or so it felt) writing and then publishing and then promoting a blog post on a topic that apparently hit many nerves but unfortunately is still not widely discussed in any “acceptable” public arenas.
There are a ton of issues, trends, challenges and even opportunities around that topic that must be discussed and addressed by many people. For several reasons that swirled together on that day, I felt I needed to write the post right then and there.
That all said, this blog post is not about the content of that blog post.
This blog post is about what I know best: Real Life. And by “real life,” I mean angst, anxiety, uncertainty, fear, love and pure pleasure.
What that blog post (from the inspiration to the I-will-burst-if-I-do-not-write-this to the holy-hell-did-I-just-hit-‘Publish???’ of it) brought up for me is that feeling of knowing.
Certain knowing. Scared-as-hell knowing. Knowing that I am supposed to be doing something (in my case, writing) in that moment but utterly uncertain as to what it means, why me or what will come of it.
That knowing can lead to many things that can be distilled into one of these two choices:
1. You know. You feel scared, uncertain. You soldier on and do the thing anyway.
2. You know. You feel scared, uncertain. You bow out and opt to not do the thing.
I don’t know about you, but I prefer the former in most cases. (Of course, if “the thing” involves something that could cause severe bodily harm, break the law or negatively affect the Redskins on a Sunday afternoon, then I say bowing out is a good and honorable thing.)
I prefer the former because, well, if I am going to feel fear or uncertainty (which is a given in this two-scenario situation), I may as well risk something or try something or actually do something in the process.
I may as well honor that knowing instead of B.S.-ing my way around or out of it.
Instead of running from it, avoiding it, shirking it or passing it off on someone else, I may as well embrace the you-know-what out of it and DO SOMETHING.
Because doing something means that you are opting for something I like to call living. Full-out living. No-regrets-on-deathbed living.
Ironically, the doing and living are actually not terribly hard. In most cases, the thinking, ruminating and movie-making (in your head) can be way more excruciating than just doing it.
But being people and all, most of us smart and careful and aware, we tend to over-complicate and over-think and all that good stuff.
Take me as an example, if you will: I started to over-think that blog post:
What if “they” come after you?
What if no one agrees with you?
Worse, what if “they” think you are full of it?
You’re a single mother whose livelihood depends on your writing…do you really want to risk anything?
Who the **** are you, Allison, to get out there with your megaphone and all these bold statements?
And so on….
You know the “what ifs” right? They are friends with the “mights” and the “maybes.” A bunch of one-trick ponies, if you ask me. Kind of boring. I’m trying to be better friends with the “so whats” and the “go for its” – they’re way cooler if you ask me.
So that’s my story about going out on a limb. I’ve got others, for sure. In fact, nearly great or amazing thing or person in my life is a direct result of my taking that step and going out on a limb: I hesitated but did it anyway.
It wasn’t the biggest deal in the world.
Asteroids didn’t crash to earth and the Internet didn’t shut down.
It didn’t kill me.
There was no safety net below, but turns out that limb was strong enough to hold my weight. And the weight of my words.
Turns out the limb can be really strong if you would just give it a try. If not today, maybe tomorrow. Or next week.