I feel like I'm on the cusp of failing and this is a good thing. I have only ever believed in myself to a certain point. I could only ever see to the edge of the road, not past the turn and up the mountaintop. Not sloping skyward, rushing to slice through the atmosphere. Not because I didn't think I was capable of great things, but because it was always too far ahead of me. It was always something I'd approach, someday. Out of its reach, it became harder to see and therefore harder to fail. Things stayed medium. I said to Husband the other night, I feel like there is a lot of good stuff in me and I'm not letting it out. Do you know this feeling? I think the majority of us do. Unless you are fulfilling the @#$% out of your potential or in complete denial and just going through the motions, don't most of us ache with the feeling we haven't gotten out our best work yet? Don't we squeal in feigned pain when things don't conspire just so because yet again there were just too many obstacles in our way to really do it?
I'm grand at self-sabotage disguised as over-productivity. I have been trying to get through the third chapter edits of my book for about a week now. Finally I stopped making excuses and it was all I could do to not go on an Instagram-bender or check my weekly schedule one more time. I knew if I just stayed with the feeling of discomfort that eventually I would make the edits happen. I'd go through the chapter and face the words I wanted to edit or rewrite or, dare I say it, love and keep. But it's always easier for me to start a newer, easier project than stick with the one that requires more vulnerability and less immediate recognition.
This is why I've never gone to the frontier of myself. I get far enough down the road and instead of lifting off and up, I make a turn, just to look, maybe this way is better. I have never pioneered into my creativity, I've merely vacationed there. I have cut myself short. I've closed in the possibilities around me, thick like a winter blanket, shielding me from the windchill of exposure and the opportunity to know myself better. Because what if she's disappointing? What if I didn't like her? What if she didn't get followers?
So here I am. Determined to stay this course. Determined to edit this book. Determined to not start things like, say, novels and plays and documentaries, until I'm done with my first really really big project. As uncomfortable as it is to see it through.
I care less than I ever did about what I look like and it's still too much. We have to reach that point of utter Ego-destruction in order to liberate ourselves into our art. Our identities can't matter anymore. We can't serve anything but our "Personal Legend" as Paulo Coehlo so iconically puts it in The Alchemist. We can't care if our artbabies will get published or produced or critically acclaimed. We can't care if our families think we're nuts or if we have to do some less than desirable work to pay the bills. We can't keep obeying gravity. We have to ascend.
I have no idea what to do with my life and I have every idea of what to do with my life. Same with you. You don't know, but you know. It's written in every in-between moment that urges you to the edit or the draft or the canvas or the studio. And maybe we'll fail so hard. But failing hard at something is a lot better than starting a million times at nothing.