All my life I have never been afraid to try something because of failure. It is more the fear of success. I have talents, true. I have plenty of dreams, yes. And I have so many excuses to not allow them to bloom. The thing is I understand disappointment. I get the sadness of it, the loneliness of it but I've always gotten back up to try again. I know my potential. I always have but the reality of me reaching it has been far more terrifying to me than anything else. Where does a dream go once you've caught it? It becomes something tangible, something real, and then there are no more butterflies to catch. So what pushes me forward? But if I am being very honest it has nothing to do with any of that. What I get scared of is that when they become real I now have even higher expectations to live up to. And even further into that, they become that much more real to fall apart. I understand how quickly things in this life go away. There have been so many wonderful moments that crumbled in my hands. As long as they are just a dream, they can't be destroyed. This journey has taught me all sorts of things but the greatest thing it has unfortunately taught me is how fickle the good can be. I don't know if I believe in destiny. I don't think we all have one path that we aren't to go in or one destination we are supposed to land at. I just know that each of the steps I have taken keep bringing me closer to achieving the dreams I have always wanted. It scares me.
We all self sabotage. We get so close to that light like bugs to a bulb and then so quickly we decide to fly right into that light because somehow it's easier to explode ourselves. As I get older, I become more dissatisfied with all these things that I never allowed myself to feel, to experience because what if they worked? The negative is far easier to cling to than the positive. I lived there for a long time but I'm starting to understand the vitality of my own life. I get that one day all these chances I let go by because I was so terrified that I could were wasted. I don't know what to do when someone gives me a compliment. I don't know what to say when someone says they like my work. I have no idea how to handle an opportunity when it presents itself to me other than to run from it. Why? Not because I might fail but because I may succeed and then where do I go? I know how much harder I will then have to push myself to go further then where I stand. I know how much harder I will have to fight not to prove to you that I can be better than the last line I drew but because I will have to prove it to myself. I am my own worst critic, my biggest nightmare, the cause of the majority of my own anxieties. I know what struggle feels like and I have become so comfortable in this state that it becomes toxic. I know it. Still, I hold back when I know my heart just wants to set itself free. I bite my tongue when I feel every word that these hands want to write, know each line this mind still has yet to create... but what happens when if I fall empty? The reality is I convince myself that if I give the world what I can truly offer, eventually the world will turn away. I will have been a success but how soon will it crumble?
This week I got a wonderful opportunity to share my art. It will be the first time my art will be more than a digital image on your computer screen. It will be something real, printed and hung on actual canvas for the world to see. The feeling I had when my work was accepted I cannot explain. It was the most excited I have been in a long time. It felt like a break, a real break. Someone looked at my art and liked it enough to hang it on the walls. I honestly lost my breath. I felt dizzy and elated and hopeful and overwhelmed all at the same time. This will be first time I showcase my work and I am sincerely so very excited about it. I'm that bug right now so close to that light and I am terrified that I am going to fly right into it, to sabotage myself. I don't know how to handle something wonderful. I don't know how to hold it in these hands and not crush it by accident. I am holding this beautiful bloom, me on the cusp of something that I don't understand and scared to death that I will somehow wilt away. Then I think about this journey, how hard I try and how many times I have gotten back up even if I know I will go straight back into that light. I think about the last ten years of this life, all the minutes that led up to this day. I look at my husband, this man that I never thought I would allow myself then and here he still sits. We have not crumbled. I think about my daughter and how scared I was holding her in my arms when she was so tiny. She has not crumbled. These two people in my life that, at times, I failed still did not turn into dust. I see clearly where I sit and understand how I don't have to fear this wonderful. I can enjoy this right now. I can allow myself this. Sometimes I don't have to hurt to know I am still real.
That's the thing. I think we sometimes choose pain over happiness because it is easier to digest. If someone takes away our pain, that's OK. If someone makes you smile when you are sad, that's good. It is good to lose that sadness but happiness is so much more precious. We work so hard for it and lose sight of it so quickly. Once we have it, how we cling. True happiness becomes those things of fairy tales. We know the story. We understand the concept but somehow we convince ourselves it's just a dream, an idea. It becomes something unreal. We convince ourselves that happiness only comes from other people, from our jobs, from friends, from our families when the reality is it will always come from within. The older I get, the more I understand that. And that part of our journey is the hardest one to take. Because when we start on that path, what do we see? We see all the things that came before standing in between us. We see all these things that we failed at and think why try at all? We hear the all the zaps, the doubts, the whispers of what we will never be. And we convince ourselves that those things are right. So, we intentionally make ourselves worse to hide our best. I was once 110 lbs soaking wet. I was a beautiful young lady with a smile that shined so very bright. I was once so excited about this world and then someone turned the lights out on me, hurt me in ways that have left scars. Instead of standing fearless in spite of that, I hid away. I gained over a hundred pounds so that the world wouldn't see my shine anymore. I did that to myself because I was terrified that if I became the great I knew I could be, it would all be torn away from me again and I've been doing that since.... until now. I can no longer hide in the dark. It's time to be my own light. Maybe this good thing will crumble but I'm tired of being afraid that it won't. Crumbs don't scare me. And this fear that I have of being seen is no longer useful, not when I've got dreams to catch.