To write. To tell a story using carefully selected words and phrases- of which there are millions to choose from- and from them breathe life to your story. To develop characters, real or imagined, so that they come to life off your page and people either love them or hate them in the setting you aptly describe so that the reader too is breathing the acrid dry air or feeling the rain on their shoulders, tasting the banquet or smelling the perfume. Pulling bits and pieces of your own life into the story and you cannot help it because it is your point of view and it is what, is all, that you know.
This is one of my greatest desires in life. To write. I write these words on this blog and I journal in a hard-topped, floral diary and I write papers for school. But every now and again there stirs in me a spark of inspiration, often when I am trying to sleep, and I desperately try to hold on to it long enough to get it down on paper. When I daydream it is often creating scenarios in my head for a story, or re-writing scenes of my own life in way that would have a better outcome, often making me look wiser than I am or was at the time. I ruminate. I chew and chew on a thought, working it out and turning it over, finding the best way to describe what I mean, what I see and feel and think. Often I am never satisfied with my work, feeling that my descriptions just do not do justice to the movie playing in my head.
So I rarely share these stories. My fear of failure I am learning is not of failure really but of ineptitude. I lack the confidence I see in so many others, a courage to share their work and be rejected. I learn from revisions and I have learned from comments made by others and yet even with my school papers, simply research and analyzing, I fear that it is not good enough. I get a notice that my grade is completed and I tremble slightly, anxiety creeping up as I click on the grade to view. Never have I failed a paper or gotten lower than an A-/B+ on any paper throughout my college career. I am complimented on my writing, told I have nothing to worry about and to make a few minor changes here and there.
And yet, I feel inadequate. I have pondered this and tried to devise plans to overcome this unfounded fear. I do not want to teach my children to fear or feel inadequate or feel held back by their own anxieties.
I have come to realize that we often worry most about what we love the most. I worry over my children- but through the grace of God am learning to let go of many worries- and I worry over my husband and our lives and what we will do each year. As a society there is a profound sense of worry. We worry that our lives are not good enough, that we don’t make enough money, that our children are not perfect, our clothes are not perfect, and that we will ultimately be rejected because we are not good enough.
I hold my writings close to my heart, not sharing them so that I won’t be rejected, won’t be told I am not good enough. I squander the gift.
How many times have I held back, not fully committed to an idea or story because I “know” in the end I will not be good enough? How many times have I continued to seek improvement of myself that goes beyond my writing to every accomplishment I have made just to prove I am better than I was the second before?
It’s disheartening when you think about. Running and chasing after an elusive idea of self and hiding from self-created worries of never good enough. Is this the life I was purposed to have? That our society is purposed to have?
I am writing my stories. I may feel fear and trepidation when one day they are sent to the publisher but through this blog I have exposed myself enough to know that rejection does not equate to death. People will love or hate it but all I can do is offer my gift to them and let that be enough. Because I am enough. Just as I am, not an ounce more or less.
Will I strive to always better and improve myself? Of course, but I will not base it on my own fears and worries and doubts or what I think others may feel about me. This is the amazing grace of God, challenging me to walk this path in which I do not know where it leads or ends, but that He will make the way. He will change me and mold me to fit perfectly with the plans He has for me. My fallible thought-process of who I perceive myself to be is nothing in comparison to who I am in Christ and how much He has already changed me.
Confidence. Enough. To write. Or sing or dance or paint or create or whatever their heart desires. That is what I will teach my children. That is the story I will write for my life, the prelude to their own story. A setting up for success, not failure or insecurities. They may struggle and fail at times but they will do it with the assurance that they are being trained for something better, to be better through God in His perfect desire for them to live a life full of wonder and joy and awe of His creation and what He is capable of doing in their life.
I wish I had learned this sooner myself. But it will just make for a more beautiful story in the end, how I triumphed over this Ineptitude, a battle with that internal monster that was for me to win. A story that will strengthen my own children with their battles.
May the battle begin. Pen to paper, key strike to screen. There is a story waiting.