"Each time we face our fear,
we gain strength, courage, and confidence in the doing."
I can barely remember what I did yesterday, but I can still remember things from when I was a little, little girl. Like the time I was in a ballet recital. I was one of the three blind mice. I wore a gray leotard, a cute little mouse hat my mom made, and long tail attached with snaps so when the farmer's wife came after the mice she could pull on the tails and off they would come. At the dress rehearsal my tail was the only one that stayed on until the pivotal moment. The other mice's moms were sent home to sew on more snaps. As you can probably imagine, during the live performance my tail fell off while we mice were still blindly pirouetting around the stage and when the farmer's wife got close to me with a carving knife she had to ad lib.
It is not one of my most horrible memories as it was most likely blotted out by other dancing nightmares. Much as I may have wanted to be a ballerina, I wasn't coordinated or disciplined enough. And I learned early on that even though I could be considered a "Drama queen" in some people's books I'm just not meant for the stage.
So how is it that I've gotten myself into a writing group that for the 2nd year in a row is going to have a recital where we read our stories out loud to family and friends? And why is it so darn scary to read in front of people you know so well? Is there more safety in anonymity? As much as I love and admire our group leader, for the past month I've been one of three or four who have been cursing the woman and her "you're not just great writers, you're storytellers" theory. Just because she can do everything, doesn't mean we can or want to.
I've whined and bitched and bellyached, and edited my story about 50 times. In my opinion what started out as a fairly humorous little piece is now dry, sterile and too long. But what do I know? And who am I to rock the boat? If I've learned anything in this group it is that if I want to be a writer I have to be disciplined and willing to step out of my comfort zone. It does me no good to sit at the computer typing out words all day for myself. The whole point of writing is for someone else to read. So even though I've been a big baby about it, I'm somewhat prepared for my Friday performance. Today was our run through and I've got to say I'm running with some talented women who not only write good stories but aren't afraid to tell them. Am I so different from them? Perhaps only in my proclivity towards voicing my discomfort.
Here's the thing, I know it won't kill me. I know none of the awful things I fear will happen won't. And I'm not going to be wearing a brown stuffed tail that might fall off. So what's the big deal? Why am I always so damn scared?
aka Chicken Little