we spend a lot of time in life asking if things are right but not really wanting to act on the answers to our own questions. to do so might be reckless. we might ruin something precious and never be able to reconstruct it. we might hurt people we love. we might die under a quilt stitched with regret.
in reality it’s been my own hesitations, not my mistakes, that have led me astray, wasted my own and others’ precious time.
once i spent years knowing in my heart that i needed to leave a relationship, but i worried. what would happen to him. how would we divide the pots and pans. where would i live. who would help me put on my socks if my back went out. who would get the cat.
i worried so, for about five out of the seven years we were together, until i realized if i didn’t leave, i would surely cheat, and i didn’t want to dishonor the basic goodness of what we’d had by taking that easy way out.
in the important moments, i find clarity is always preceded by fear. fear tries to shame me or scare me out of the reckless seeming thing i want to do, whether it’s leaving a job or telling someone how i feel even though it’s uncomfortable and i don’t know how they’ll react.
when i feel the most tortured, though, is when i’m tentative. when i let the idea of making a mistake, being embarrassed, being wrong, stop me from leaving my warm cocoon for the whipping winds of the moors.
just like i don’t believe there are pre-destined ‘right’ choices, i don’t believe the idea that there are no mistakes in life. any memorable life will have mistakes that were clumsy or even cruel. reckless choices that led to beautiful things and to difficult things, sometimes in the same package.