Already I am trying too hard. I have spent the past several days fretting over what the first entry of my blog should be. While I have a whole hodgepodge of misadventures, blunders, and anecdotes to draw from, I find myself staring at the page wondering what to write about. Family and friends have been consulted and asked what it is they think I should write about. I have read other people’s blogs hoping that an idea will spring forth from the computer screen and light a creative spark. But, nothing, absolutely nothing comes to mind. With each passing moment, I feel the all too familiar wave of anxiety begin to well up because I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT and now I have gone and told people that I am writing a blog and they are expecting something wonderful, fantastic, witty and insightful, but I do not know what to write about, and, oh, my word, this was the worst idea ever. Or so I tell myself.
It is easier to tell myself that I do not know what to write about than it is to admit the truth: I am afraid. I am afraid of being perceived as foolish, insignificant, vulnerable, and, well, not good enough. I am also deathly afraid of being rejected; the reasons for this better left for another time, another blog.
So why write a blog which by its very public nature puts me ‘out there’ and has the potential of setting me up for all of things I fear the most: rejection, criticism, vulnerability? Because I made a promise to someone I love, a promise which involves stepping outside my comfort zone with a conscientious effort to try something new every day.
Back in November, Youngest Cabbage (Y.C.) came home from university for a surprise twenty-four hour visit. He was somewhat philosophical during this visit and it was obvious that he was trying his best to talk to me about something. Naturally, I assumed it was university, co-op job hunting or his life related. Imagine my surprise when I realized that, saints preserve us, what he wanted to talk about was, well, me. Double take, back the bus up or start the car, I wasn’t sure which one I should do.
The conversation went something like this:
Y.C.: “Hey, Mom. How are things?”
Me: “Pretty good, thanks for asking.”
Y.C.: “Really (sarcastic tone)? You don’t seem all that good.”
Me: “I’m fine. I just have a lot on my plate right now.” This is my usual response to all me-related questions.
Y.C.: “Well, before I go back to school, I want you to promise me something.”
Me: “Sure. Name it. What would like?”
Y.C.: “I want you to promise that you will try something new every day.”
What the hell? Why would I do that? I had taken the bait, hook, line and sinker and was now committed to something big before knowing what it was I was committing to. Man, oh, man, this was bad. I had gotten myself into yet another pickle and I was back pedaling as to how I could get myself out of it.
The long and the short of it is that, even though I thought I had everyone fooled, this mathematical genius of a child (who has gone through his entire twenty-one years of his life being teased by his older brothers for having his head stuck up in the clouds) hit the nail right on the head: his mother was slipping into the mundane and she was struggling with something far deeper than she was willing to admit or could even articulate.
But Y.C. knew. Before Y.C. left for an eighth month co-op placement back in December of 2011, I was attentive, bubbly and talkative. When he returned, I was distracted, quiet and pensive. By November not much had changed so Y.C. bravely crossed over into dangerous territory; he talked to me about me.
So here it goes. I am posting my first entry despite my fear of rejection, despite my fear of being told it is a stupid idea, and despite my fear of being laughed at or told that my efforts are not good enough. I am exposing my vulnerability in the hopes of escaping the mundane and also in the hopes of showing others that, while we all experience periods of vulnerability and insecurity, it is only when we face our fears and step outside our comfort zone can we truly begin to shine.
AND, equally, if not more importantly, I am posting my first entry because I made a promise to someone I love. Thank you, Y.C., I owe you one.
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