I find it so hard to get off my butt and make my work. No matter how filled I am with ideas–they can be whirring through my mind and body a million per second– I treat them like a pressure cooker would and push it down, down, down…For a while it goes away, the itching, biting impulse to shake it all out of myself and the frustration that comes with not knowing how. But it always comes bubbling back up, more furious than the last time, and I become a raging pot of beef stew ready to explode into a sticky hysteria. This can’t end well.
Ultimately, I think I am terrified of failure. I am so put off by the prospect of starting, the process of fumbling in the dark, not knowing why I’m feeling around here and there or for what. I don’t want to take the wrong route because, because, because, well, then I will have just wasted so much of my time in pursuit of an ultimately fruitless path!
That is a lie I tell myself. That is a lie I tell myself each and every time an opportunity or an idea comes up, and I close off the pathway because I just can’t “see” the way from here and that must mean it isn’t worth pursuing. Truth is, I’m too damn scared. I’ve laid out a nice, circular, concrete pathway that I just keep walking around and around again, perverting the lyrics of Ariana Grande’s Thank U, Next as I dismiss each new idea and its path to realization that offers salvation from this limbo.
I like limbo because it is safe. There’s no saying I’ve crashed and burned, but there is also no realization of ideas. I could keep telling myself that they will be there when I finally get over myself and start to pursue them, but it’s also possible that the paths to the realization of these ideas may grow limp and pale, lacking the nourishment and hydration necessary to keep them alive. And my fear is, rational or not, that I will become stuck in here, forever pacing this sad, numbing, circular path forever.
So I want to break it. I want to take a chisel and hammer to these boards and open up their paths. And what I am going to do is pick ONE. I am going to take a path, and that will take me somewhere. If it is indeed fruitless, I will trust in my navigational senses to bring me back to the center, where I can unlock the gate to a new path. And repeat. I need to breach the bushes and enter the woods. It will be dark. It will be unfamiliar. But it will be a path. One that I will take. Because staying in limbo is just an infinite death.