action · courage · fear · life · relationships · self-support · self-worth

Oh My Dear, Who’s Ever Ready?




I tore this quote from the back of a playbill a few years
ago, and taped it to my fridge.
The play I’m in, there’s a song about waiting: waiting
for marriage, for children, for your husband to come home, and eventually for death. The
character pleads with us, with her husband, with herself: How long do I have to
The ideas I have for my future are not unheard of or
unrealistic; I’ve just been telling them to wait for so long that they feel
out of reach. If you’re not moving toward them, your dreams will always feel
that way.
I’ve been thinking this morning about worthiness: Who would
want to hire me? What do I have to offer? Why would someone pay me instead of
someone with more experience?
And, as romance and finance are never far from one another,
I’ve been thinking about replacing some of those words with the same sentiment:
Who would want to date me? What do I have to offer? Why would someone date me
instead of someone who has their shit together?
The theme of worthiness is the undercurrent for both places
of lack in my life. Or, more accurately, both places of unrealized dreams.
I do know
intellectually, and often in my soul, that what I have to offer is not only
magnificent, but unique. It’s about showing that to the world (and myself) in a way that I
can support – in a way that I haven’t been ready to support or stand behind.
But, my dears, Who’s ever ready, indeed?
There has been a lot of waiting in my life, too. Waiting
for me to get better, to get healthy, to get stable, to get grounded, to get
organized, to get … “approvable.”
And mostly, that approval is internal. Waiting for my critic
to shut the hell up long enough to see the beauty and the awe (that we all
have, by the way).
Why haven’t I ever submitted an essay to a publication? I’m
scared I’m not good enough (aka unworthy). Why have I never applied for an
English professorship? I’m scared I don’t know enough (aka unworthy). Why do I
… well, why do I remain single despite my awesomeness? I’m scared: my “picker”
is broken, I can’t handle heartbreak again, I’m too gun-shy to really try. Aka,
unworthy of letting myself try.
These are not easy admissions, but they’re also not the all
of me, yet they’re part of the truth of me.
You can’t wait for someone else to knight you “worthy.” To
pour magic bravery potion on you that enables you to write something you feel
proud of and submit it. Or for someone else to see a potential in you that
you’re terrified yourself of seeing.
You have to see it for yourself, and you have to make
decisions from that place.
I’ve read enough Brene Brown over these few years to know,
a) we all go through this in one form or another, and b) that there is a way
out: It’s through.
It’s the small steps we (I) decide to take. Why didn’t I
ever apply to teach English? Doesn’t matter – can you do it now? Why haven’t I
ever coalesced my ideas for children’s workshops? Doesn’t matter – do you
believe in yourself enough now to try?
I will not wait until I’m ready, because that’s an illusion.
We (well, many of us?) are going to question our worth now and then, but it doesn’t
have to hold us back from taking action anyway. Readiness is an illusion, just
like perfection. Because, surely, that’s what I’m meaning, isn’t it? When I’m
finally good enough to try, to be original, to be seen, to be loved, then I can masterfully get on
with my business of being awesome?
That’s really not the way it works.
You take the steps, and hope the rest of you catches up. You
overreach yourself, and yes there’s a moment of will you make it or not, but if
you’re not reaching, you’re waiting. And the next step will never ever get closer, no matter how long you do. 

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