Monday, February 7, 2011

Dive Right In

There's no snow in Barbados. There was snow in Connecticut, where I spent 2 years, but I really didn't have to deal with it that much.

And then I moved to Japan. 600 km North of Tokyo. (Exactly.) Luckily I'm on the side of the mountains that only gets "a little" snow. (Did I mention we had 4 feet on New Year's?) We get these crazy temperature swings from living in the valley. In the day, we get about 6 hours of direct sunshine (not to be confused with time when the sun is up, but behind the mountain) and everything warms up and melts. Then the sun drops behind the other mountain, and all that melted snow freezes.

So I spend most of winter on an ice cap.

My first year here, I walked really slowly. I tried different ways of letting my foot strike the ground in an effort to not feel like I was always 1.5 seconds from eating pavement. I went about 3 months without falling. But I gave myself all sorts of back aches and knee aches and probably a few wrinkles, being so tense all the time.

Eventually I fell. There was absolutely nothing I could have done about it. Unfortunately I faceplanted at the same time that one of my students walked out of the fish market. lol. But after I fell, I relaxed, a little. Because falling wasn't really that bad. Sure, it was mortification for the 2 seconds my student stared at me. But then I was on my feet. And on my way.

And now, I'm not so tense. And I don't have muscle pains. Everywhere I go, I get there faster. I may fall. But I'm cool with that.

How many times are people like this?

The kids I teach, they're afraid to answer questions, in case they're wrong. People are afraid to try all sorts of things, because they might fail. As writers, we're afraid to show others our work, or even write, in case it's horrible.

But here's the thing about everything you do. When you stay in your comfort zone then the bare minimum of progress is all you can hope for. You have to go for it. Because you may fall. But you'll get there faster.

It's Monday. That's what's on my mind.

4 comments:

Abby Stevens said...

When you stay in your comfort zone then the bare minimum of progress is all you can hope for. You have to go for it. Because you may fall. But you'll get there faster.

Lovely! I couldn't agree more, and your illustration is perfect!

The Blue Lipstick Samurai said...

I think those are excellent Monday thoughts; diving into a week is just as scary as everything else, imo. ;)

Awesome point, beautiful analogy! (And by the way, Points of Claire-ification is an adorable blog name and I don't know why I didn't say that before...)

E.J. Wesley said...

This so applies to writing. It isn't until we put all of the doubt and fear aside that we can really move on to productivity. As in life, you will screw up, but if you don't try you'll never know success.

Kate said...

If life didn't have it's challenges it would get boring really fast. The falls are what keep things exiting, both in life and in writing.