When we’re young, we often have this misconception that there is something we are “meant” to do. I know I held that belief. I thought I would find “my thing” and I would jump on that path and it would be a straight upward climb to whatever kind of success I was seeking.
Of course, I’ve known better for years, now.
Logically, I have come to realize that failing is part of anything. I know success comes from continuing on after failing over and over until your ego is ground to dust. Success is getting back up after a fall and being better for it.
I also know others hold multiple careers and hobbies, and people change careers all the time. Many would scoff at the limitation implied in my childish beliefs, not willing to be confined to only one purpose. We are, after all, a richly varying species and the many aspects of ourselves need to be fed.
But the above logic is only logic and, thus, lives in my head. It hasn’t reached my heart or my gut, yet.
I care too much what others think and I’m afraid to fail. I’ve stuck my toes in so many things; sampling here and there, afraid to commit. I’ve done things just long enough to feel a little successful and then gotten out before anything could go haywire. I’ve loved being a jack-of-all-trades, but after three decades of life, I’m ready to try to master one.
The problem lies in the choosing. What if I’m wrong and what if I’m bad at what I choose? What if I fail? Not in the sense of the million little failures that teach, but the big, fat failure that destroys. That scares me because whatever I’m considering, I love.
There are so many things that I genuinely enjoy doing; things I cannot consider my life to be “full” without. I have no intentions of “quitting” anything, either. I only want to focus.
So, what’s the point of sharing all this? Many times in my life, I’ve asked loved ones or mentors to point me down a path and tell me what to do. They’ve never been really willing. (I wonder why?) So, am I here on the internet asking near-strangers to tell me? Not really.
I’m sharing this because, if there’s one really great thing about social media and the pervasiveness of technology in our present-day world, it’s that it has allowed us to find kindred spirits. We know we are never alone in feeling something, even if no one else in our immediate, familiar circle has felt it.
I’m also sharing because I’ve decided to double down. If you read my last post, you’ll know what I’m referring to. Writing is what I want to do. It’s the thing I’ve always wanted to do. I wanted to be a veterinarian and a writer. I wanted to be a horse/dog trainer and a writer. A musician and a writer. A teacher and a writer. It’s the one thing that refuses to wane. So why is it not the main thing? After four years of writing seriously, starting a blog, starting a company, and publishing a book, why is it not the main thing for me?
Fear. The answer is that simple; fear of failing in the eyes of others and fear of failing financially.
One of these fears can be addressed by refusing to let myself run this time - by refusing to let this be a sampling or a testing of the waters and forcing myself to dive in deeper. And I’ll have details on how I’m addressing the other fear in the next post.