the thing is, I’m aware of my place in the scheme of things. Not place so much as placement. It isn’t that I couldn’t move or change – only that in this instance if there were a mandate to assemble in some sort of order – I’d be fair to middling.


Middling in the places I’ve been and the experiences I’ve had. Middling in the life I’ve chosen for myself. it is nothing to sneeze at. It is mine – my experiences. I’ve enjoyed some, been terrified by others. From sri lanka to south Africa to Guatemala. They are securely mine, have made me securely me. And I embrace them as much for the purity of what life offers up as for the fodder they provide for my writing.


bless my family and friends who urge me to write…a blog, an article,  a book. Urge me to follow the passions that moved me throughout my youth and into adulthood, to snatch scenes from their places in reality and place them securely in phrases that speak to my fancy.


Clearly I have no compunction against sharing – I understand the inherent narcissism (no matter how harmless) at play in the blogging concept. More than a journal it is a public airing of my thoughts and feelings with an unspoken assumption that someone outside of my own brain would want to read it. But despite that arrogance I find I am lacking in the ultimate one…the one necessary to put pen to more than fleeting cyber thought and onto something more permanent…onto paper and offered up to publishers.


I find myself in unchartered territory. Held hostage by my own fear…of being judged… against someone else, against the life I’m not leading but should…I’m not exactly sure what I’m afraid of but it hinders my ability to let go of expectations and follow a different path..


I shouldn’t compare. My life is my life. Experiences aren’t meant to be held up and weighted against others. I’ve heard people try to out-sorrow each other…blacks vs jews vs darfur vs bosnia. And it is a ridiculous concept. As is measuring success, gandhi vs mandela vs einstein vs shakespeare. They all move and inspire people – touch folks in ways that maybe someone else couldn’t. but I still find myself doing it.wondering if my perspective is worthy of contending with others.


Lately I’ve taunted myself with the examples of two friends from college. each followed the “responsible” path, schools and careers…until…no more. Both are dancing now. Living lives less ordinary, more satisfying to self if to no one else (and in such cases, who else matters).


And today I glimpsed the life of an acquaintance – living the life I’d love to live, full of travel and food and adventure and writing – he just completed his book and is preparing to offer it up to the publishing world. And I can only lament…why not me?


And the answer is easy. Because I didn’t choose that. I’ve chosen stability and predictability. I’ve chosen not to  try.


I used to believe that failure would be the ultimate heartache – attempting to be the me I’ve held in my head for so many years, the uber-me –  and falling short. I think instead, erring on the side of trepidation kills me slower but kills me just the same.

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