This past weekend, I attended a conference; without naming the conference (and thereby initiating a cataclysmic clashing of my creative (online) and working (off-line) lives), suffice it to say, this conference was A Big Deal. Admittedly, I had been slightly coerced into going by a colleague who should likely be a lawyer, given her powers of persuasion, but also, another big part of my decision to actually take part – despite the unfamiliarity of the situation and the responsibility inherent within it – was the prevailing attitude of “why the hell not” that has been carrying me through this past year. As I wrote in my last blog entry, I feel like my life has been put on hold the past two years, and now that it’s become abundantly clear that this is never going to totally Go Away, it’s time to saddle up (with my mask on and my vaccines up to date) and go and live my life again.
But, no. More than living my life again. I’m not going to pretend that anything I’ve done this year has been revolutionary (this conference, because of its focus of activism, actually comes closest to being something actually revolutionary), but my life prior to COVID was very much a series of missed – no, not even missed – passed up – opportunities. It was a string of risks I didn’t take because the fear of failing or being rejected wasn’t counter-balanced by the perceived possibility of a positive outcome. It wasn’t worth trying and failing when failure was such a frightening prospect, and how much better would success feel, really? Trying new things seemed to present only additional opportunities to fail.
Man, did I have this wrong six ways from fucking Sunday.
Here’s the thing:
I have started to feel like I value myself more today than I did yesterday, more this year than I did last. Certainly more than I did in the late spring of 2020. I have made huge strides in the pursuits I’ve undertaken – I’ve gotten involved in activism, I’ve become an artist, I’m making strides in learning a language (just for fun! Because that has value too), I’m writing a book, I’m participating in a maker’s market, I’m reaching out to consign my work at local brick-and-mortars, I’m planning to panel at a convention.
Oh, and I signed up for a pole class. Last night. After three years of saying, “man, I wish I could do that,” I’m doing it.
And I’m going to fucking suck at it. At first. But I’ve been down this road before. I know how this story plays out.
It’s just a matter of time.
Take care of yourselves, and each other.