People like to make lists of "The Things they Want to Do", but I feel compelled today to write a list of "The Things I Didn't do."
While it is not a list of avoided tests, per say, they tell of times when I didn't do something I set out to.
1. Mustering the courage to write for my college newspaper, getting my first assignment: an article on beekeeping and then chickening out.
2. Registering for a TV production class, but cancelling it after the first day because of the intimidating video project.
3. Starting to write a story for a contest about the naughtiest thing my dog has ever done-- when she ate a hole through the bathroom door-- but then quitting after it became too much of a struggle. (I totally would have won, too. That is, if I had finished it.)
4. Volunteering to be a parent blogger for a my son's progressive preschool. Having a great idea to write about the time I got to throw mud with the kids, hurling me back to my own childhood-- but then never doing it and failing to post anything on the blog the entire year.
5. And finally... creating a blog in August 2012, writing a handful of posts and then letting it sit, pretty much postless for years (with the exception of 2013).
All of these are things I really wanted to do and was looking forward to. What stopped me? Fear, plain and simple. Fear that I would not be good, fear that I would try and not succeed, maybe even fear that I would succeed and then what? I let it consume me and became paralyzed by it. These will forever be the "Things That I Didn't Do" and they cling to me like gaping holes in my psyche.
One thing they all have in common; they all involve writing. It's the thing I love to do, but wouldn't let anyone know for a most of my adult life. The thing that I do and time stops. The thing that lifts my spirits and engages me in life.
The fortunate part is, I do not have to define myself by the things I didn't do. The story can change. Perhaps writing about the things I have failed to write about in my life... maybe that can promote some kind of healing. So, I am doing it. Here, right here, right now. And I will continue one post at a time because I won't let my life be one giant avoided test.