NaNoWriMo used to do this thing, starting around 2007 or so, called “The Year of Doing Big, Fun, Scary Things Together.” It was similar to setting New Year’s Resolutions, where participants held each other accountable and were supportive while trying “big, fun, scary things” together.
These things didn’t have to be exceptionally big, or scary — unless you count the possibility of failure as scary, and Lord knows, many of us do. I never really participated, was never really into the idea of taking risks, however low the stakes, because the one consistent stake in every endeavor is the aforementioned possibility of failure, and that was enough to deter me.
Post-pandemic (well, sort of), that fear of failure has become less of a hinderance. I’ve spent two years putting my life on hold. I’m more willing to put myself out there.
I was just accepted into The Bi+ Maker’s Market, something I genuinely thought wasn’t going to happen — I’m just a dinky little Redbubble shop with less than twenty things for sale — right on the heels of acceptance to Fat Craft Zine, something else I didn’t expect to come to anything. Riding the high of that, I just applied to panel at Arisia. We’ll see what happens.
I think it’s at least in part the warmer weather; things are starting to feel possible again, days are longer, and warmer, and brighter; freedom from the worst of my work constraints is imminent. I want to do new things, I want to have excited conversations with folks fueled by glasses of wine or chilled margaritas, I want to sit around a table, hands covered in paint, and have mad sing-alongs with my friends as we create art; I want to play a round of exquisite corpse with my most unhinged friends, stifling giggles as we pass a notebook around at midnight.
There are things — big, fun, scary things — that are outside of my grasp because of money, or circumstances, or logistics, but there are so, so many things that are within the scope of possibility for me. I can go to cons and have frenzied conversations with likeminded people over shared passions. I can paint portraits of people I love and admire, or of wild dreamscapes or ridiculous kitsch. I can reach out and find other artists to collaborate with and make uplifting, celebratory art. I can spend quiet time alone learning new languages, listening to new music, watching new movies, reading new books. I can sit up, late nights, sipping margaritas on the porch with my best friends. There’s so much I can do.
I’m taking small steps. Small steps in becoming the best version of myself. I’m taking more risks, and successes are becoming more frequent even as the failures are beginning to hurt less and less.
Life is lovely, at least for the moment. I am happy, at least right now.
I hope all is well with you. Take care of yourselves and each other.