Thursday, April 11, 2013

The "Took" in Me

Brave and daring are words I would never use to describe myself. Timid, shy, reserved, and cautious are what I am. I think that I have faced certain obstacles forced on me in my life with a certain amount of strength or courage. But, never have I chosen something scary or uncertain. I like to live on the safe side. My spirit mythical creature is a Hobbit. Like in "The Fellowship of the Ring", when Frodo says, "...We Bagginses were very well thought of. Never had any adventures or did anything unexpected." ...Yes, that's me: A Baggins.
I recently asked myself what brave things I've done that I'm proud of: Nothin'. My mind went completely blank. The realization of how inhibited I am by fear was rather disconcerting. I was so proud of myself for enrolling at our community college. It took every ounce of spunk and nerves to do it. That was five months ago. I've never signed up for a class. I emptied myself of what courage I had too soon and now I have the enrollment fee hanging over me and nothing to show for it. I've done a lot of things in my life that I really and truly am proud of, but when it comes to the "brave" in my life is a long list of almosts, nearlys, talking myself out of it, procrastination, and excuses. I live vicariously through characters in books and pins on Pinterest to make me feel brave. I have a Pinterest board of things I want to do and places I want to go and I read stories to pretend I'm one of the daring characters. But when it comes to real life, I am as cautious as they come. I never do anything unexpected. But, oh! How I want to! I am so envious of those who have the guts, confidence, and chutzpah to go for their dreams. Why can't that be me too?
This question I saw posted on Pinterest gave me goose bumps. As I mull over the question and my answers I wonder if maybe part of the reason I haven't done some of these things is because I'm responsible and have a family and a job and maybe it's a good thing. But, maybe I need to be willing to take some risks and see what might happen. If these aren't things that I should be doing, then I want it to be responsibility and choosing what's wisest for me right now that holds me back. Never fear. I want to be brave. I want to be confident.

“Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking-stick.”

I am a Hobbit and as thoroughly a Hobbit as can be. But, I think something Tookish is stirring up inside of me. I long for an adventure. I feel ready for an adventure. I just need to slay the dragon,  Smaug Fear.

Here are some items on my "Fearless list":

1.) Go to school to learn American Sign Language. You love it, it fascinates you, so learn it.

2.) Go to Europe. You've been saving your money. Why wait?

3.) Take writing classes. You love to write. Why not try to improve yourself?

4.) Go to Maine. You've dreamed of it since reading Robert McCloskey. So go....

5.) Become more involved in church. You've been going there for years, but the fear of people is holding you back from getting connected. Just. Do. It.

6.) Be willing to try new things as the opportunities presents themselves.

7.) Take a candy-making and baking class.

8.) And, this one more than anything: Move somewhere else in the U.S. for a year just to experience something new. New people, culture, food, smells, earth....just new.

My coworker told me today that everyone needs an adventure. She looked at me straight in the eye and said that she thought I was ready for mine. It came completely out of nowhere. I don't know why she said it and she couldn't have known that I had been longing for one, but said it she did. And, the nagging is increasing. But, it's a bit of a battle: Is it responsibility or fear disguised as maturity that's holding me back? Is it bravery or is it careless restlessness that is urging me to go for it?


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