Taking more risks in life (that you can’t take back!)
I have jumped into the deep end of the pool. And I cannot undo that. It’s time to sink or swim.
I retired two years ago this month, just about the time that the pandemic really hit. I have spent a lot of time home alone, which is not at all an unpleasant thing for me. I love solitude, and the pandemic, although I would not wish that on anyone, somehow gave me permission to simply be, and not have to do. Anything.
I have always loved to write and to paint, but really did not have the time or energy while working full time to really devote to either passion. Now I do. And I have taken the leap.
One small step and decision leads to another.
I joined an art association, which then led to by being part of their annual art show. And actually hanging some of my art work in public! That art association also led to my signing up accidentally (there are no accidents) with an online group through which you could submit your work for online exhibits and shows. For a more shy person (especially about my art and writing), this online experience was perfect for me. I could apply in what felt like a more anonymous way, making fear of rejection somehow a bit less personal. So apply I did. I have been lucky enough to have several of my paintings published in the magazine called Artistonish, as well as being accepted into a few other online exhibits!
I heard about blogs and how that would be a good thing to do if one wanted to write a book, get more of a platform. This is where I fully embraced the concept of “Fools rush in where angels dare to tread!” Not only did I have no real idea what or how to blog, but I somehow also managed to figure out how to start one and jumped in and began to blog. i still don’t know much about blogging, but I’m not letting that stop me!
I met other writers on this blog, lovely people. One of them (thank you, Marie!) mentioned the publication called Crow’s Feet (people aging and writing about their experience with this, mostly). So, not really knowing much about this, I jumped in and joined. And have had several pieces of my writing accepted and published by them! It’s so exciting, and makes me a bit anxious (but thankfully, again, not enough to stop me!)
I have lived much of my life being quietly in the background, doing what needed to be done, being as authentic as I could be, but not calling too much attention to myself. I learned this early on as a way to try and stay safer in the world.
I have learned and continue to learn that being safe is highly overrated. As I age, especially, I now see that being safe doesn’t serve me so well. Death becomes more of the reality that it is as we age, and I feel and see that intensely these days. If I don’t express who I am now, when will I?
I wonder how many unexpressed works of art lie buried in cemeteries? How many stories untold?
So, deep end of the pool, here I am.
And now a dear friend has referred me to our very local magazine as a person that they might be interested in for their feature story one month. What? Me? What possibly could I offer, I wondered?But, there is no jumping out of the deep end back onto the diving board, so here I am. I will answer their questions. I will submit my responses and photos. This is actually terrifying for me and against all the rules I made growing up about how to navigate this world.
Here I am in the deep end. Swimming. Swallowing some water, yes, but still swimming. Stroke by stroke. Sometimes resting and treading water is all that I can do, but that is good enough. I am still here. In the deep end. More fully engaged in my own life and who I am and have always been. Expressing myself. Being more fully alive.
Scary? You bet! But, the alternative is even scarier. So, the deep end it is. Here I am. Vibrating with the energy of life. Still here. And so very grateful for each shaky, scary, exciting, fully alive moment.
Care to jump in and join me? The water’s great!