I’m going to start something new and exciting soon. As a result, “everyone” has been talking to me. Or rather, at me. They talk. I sit. They have opinions and advice and information, and it doesn’t matter if they have credibility or experience, they tell me what to do regardless. “Everyone” knows better than I do.
And, as a result, I’m paralyzed. I’m scared to do anything. I can’t even get dressed in the morning without thinking about what “everyone” will think.
My paralysis has been especially prevalent on this blog. I feel I can’t write what I want to write because it might offend “everyone.” Swirling through my head are should nots and better nots and other such niceties that make small talk boring.
“Everyone” wants to make sure they don’t show up in my blog. The guy that I’ve been dating tells me with a stern and expectant look that he doesn’t want to see any allusions to our relationship in my blog. Whatsoever. Which is a shame, because I could really be quite flattering to him if you catch my drift. My ex-boyfriend thinks I should make less such references to sex, because it’s not professional, he says. As if sex didn’t exist. As if it wasn’t one of the main forces behind everything a twenty-something does. A fact I guess he’s not thinking about when he calls me at 2:16 am, “just because,” a call which I ignore.
Other people are beginning to preface conversations with, “You’re not going to put this in your blog, are you?” to which I shrug as my stomach tightens, because this usually means they are about to say something incredibly boring, and not at all blog-worthy. Such occurrences are happening so frequently I am seriously considering investing in a high quality helmet to protect my tender head from the many times I’ve had to bang it against the wall. Then there are the brave few who will start a conversation with, “You should put this in your blog,” and tell me how Star Trek is really, really cool. Really.
I don’t want to limit my writing to what “everyone” wants me to subtract or add. I want to write about how many blogs in the blogosphere are so impressively mediocre. I want to write about how if you want to be good-looking and successful and powerful, you should hang out with good-looking and successful and powerful people. I want to write about the nice things too. Mostly, I want to write about how to really change the world, no holds barred.
I shouldn’t, however.
Because if I wrote about those things, “everyone” tells me, two-thirds of our population might have a heart attack at the same time, and the world would fall off its axis, and life on earth as we know it would end. It would be that bad.
I shouldn’t write about the realness of the real world, “everyone” says. So, as you may have noticed, I haven’t written much of anything recently.
But no longer.
It’s not that I don’t care about “everyone’s” opinion. I do. I have the reputation of a do-gooder for good reason; I believe in the goodness of people. I really like people. All of this talk and opinion has made my life much more interesting. Truly. I’ve learned a lot, and for that I am grateful.
Instead, I blame myself for getting caught up in “everyone’s” opinion, for becoming so self-absorbed that I thought I was a BIG DEAL, and not remembering the big picture. Not remembering starvation in Africa and lack of quality education in the U.S. and the fact that we’re all just doing the best we can.
I forget sometimes that you have to fail to succeed. The longer you wait to take action, the higher the edge will seem from the ground. You must take the jump, and trust the parachute will open eventually.