I am sitting in my classroom. My students are working. We have watched a series of short films to help inspire one of us. We then watched Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk on failing and wanting to give up. Two out of my four are falling behind on their Major Works. They were unhappy when fate intervened and they arrived early together only to receive firm words from me. I then forced them to sit and write. They have done that happily and have written more in the last hour and a half than they have prior to this, vindicating my nastiness.
And then I felt that I should turn my nastiness towards myself. And this is Elizabeth Gilbert’s fault. She asks in her Ted talk, where we most feel at ‘home’ because that is the place we need to return to when we feel the suffocation of failure encroaching; to determine this place we need to think about the thing or place that we love more than we love ourselves.
For her, it is writing.
For me, it is writing.
When I write I am wholly me. I feel that in my writing are the best elements of myself and they liberate me from the shackles of my ordinary, suburban life. It is through my writing that I share my voice and my dreams, my failures and my successes. It is almost as if I am communicating with my most authentic self, my higher self, the part of me that is untainted by everything else that brings us down.
And so, I was sitting in my classroom, instructing my students to write and realised that I too, should be writing. And not just my blog. Even though it is writing.
And it was then I realised that I allow myself to use my busy life as an excuse to not write more, to not research ideas for novels and novellas, to not fail. Because if I am not writing it is easier than writing and noone wanting to read it. And as a child that dreamed of being a writer, the failure of not being successful requires more courage than I was willing to muster.
It is hard to pursue our dreams. If I were truly serious about mine I would become a part time teacher and change my lifestyle so that financial ruin wouldn’t go hand in hand with that choice. Maybe after I give up my baby dream …
Again, another excuse. I have plenty of them. I am happy to share them too; if you want one just ask ;-).
It is fear that stops me though. I love teaching but it isn’t my love for teaching that stops me. It is my fear of moving out of my comfort zone. It is my fear of failing.
What if I try and fail?
What if I try and succeed?
What if … always what if … the children are speaking to me, wanting to know if I am their friend or not … I must go …