I, sadly, think to myself, “No, thanks.” I like predictable. I like stasis. And doing things where I feel confident about my skills.
I don’t want risk, weirdness and feeling adrift at sea.
But, what wild rides am I missing while I mutinously hunker down into the boat? How much life am I missing out on while I cheat myself?
Then, this week, I came across this quote from Anne Lamott’s Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers, and it absolutely pierced me (as her writing so often does). Arrow straight to the heart.
“If we stay where we are, where we’re stuck, where we’re comfortable and safe, we die there. We become like mushrooms, living in the dark, with poop up to our chins. …. You’re saying: Leave me alone; I don’t mind this little rathole. It’s warm and dry. Really, it’s fine.
When nothing new can get in, that’s death. When oxygen can’t find a way in, you die. But new is scary, and new can be disappointing, and confusing – we had this all figured out, and now we don’t.
New is life.”
— Anne Lamott, Help Thanks Wow: The Three Essential Prayers
I like safety. I’m risk averse. I’m a slow mover. Full of new ideas, but slow to act. Getting started is the hardest part. Pulling the energy together to push forward requires a tremendous amount of scary effort. Once I’m in motion, I’m moving, and suddenly change doesn’t seem so hard. But actually starting to move, now that freezes me up. I’d rather wait and watch a little longer. Hence why it took eleven months after signing up with WordPress to commit to a new blog name and develop a site.
With my goal of not remaining a mushroom, blogging is taking on a new form and new life. I decided to take on a writing challenge for a month. Instead of the whole novel challenge for November (cranking out a novel at a rate of 1,000 words per day), I’m trying to post every day for month, with the goal of making daily writing a habit.
I’m trying to push forward. To get a ball moving. Take a leap. One that feels big and scary and terrifying and giddy all at once.
I hope you’ll join me and read along with the adventure. In the meantime, where’s the area where you could push forward, start a ball rolling, and take a life generating risk?