Am I creative? Am I willing to fail?
As I face these questions, I squirm.
I feel like a caterpillar in a silk cocoon, not quite sure where I am in my evolution, but feeling as if some transition is unfolding, out-of-sight.
What transition, I’m not sure. Nor why.
Being unsure, I feel afraid, uncertain, confused.
With a tinge of hopeful anticipation.
I suspect this sense of change is connected to aging. I’m transitioning from worker to retiree. I’ve lost mom and am aware dad’s remaining years are dwindling. Social interactions include frequent—and different—medical conversations; no longer Lasik eye surgery and pulled muscles. Now hip replacements, knee-replacements, cancer, and debilitating diseases.
I look at obituary pages, something I used to wonder about when older friends did it. Now I get it.
These are all reminders I’m getting older. Getting older makes me think of mortality.
And mortality triggers fears.
One response to those fears is to stay wrapped up, safe, secure in my cocoon. To not break out of the familiar. To not take risks. What monsters might await me beyond safety’s edge?
Besides, how do I know when my evolution is complete? To break through prematurely is risky; survival may be possible, but not guaranteed. How can I know if I’m ready? If I’ll survive?
There’s that fear again.
But what if my cocoon never opens? What if I stay securely inside?
This form of security awakens other fears.
Fears of a security that smothers; stifles.
Fears of never expressing my full potential; of being forever wrapped tightly by strands of should’s and ought to’s; of living under the wagging finger of The Judge.
Fears of permanent constriction; safe but immobilized, withering within.
I’m trusting that blogging is part of my evolution. That’s the hopeful part I hold on to.
I imagine each word, each blog post I launch, is me wriggling; straining to shrug off silk strands of old expectations and limiting childhood beliefs.
It’s me exploring beyond my comfort zone, trying to figure out what I’m afraid of.
It’s me emerging despite the fear, rather than staying safe because of it.