There’s little that’s more frustrating than obstacles, especially the ones we lay out in front of ourselves. Think about it: how many opportunities have we squandered based on nothing more than a sense of insecurity? No, I’m not good enough for that job/girl/chance to win the lottery. We idle around in the harbors of our own minds, convinced that the seas are far too stormy for safe passage. We tie up to complacency and pretty soon you find yourself thinking that somehow life has short-changed you. And in the meantime, you are convinced that everyone else out there is hard-charging, getting ahead and chasing these wild dreams and aspirations – it’s the same theory that convinces you to change lanes in gridlocked traffic, just knowing the other lane is somehow screwing you over and moving faster.
I’m as guilty as the rest when it comes to toeing the line of opportunity. I almost joined the Air National Guard when offered an opportunity to go to navigator school – no go. I almost went to school out of state when I was accepted at a small university in Washington State. I almost wasn’t a career fireman here in Springburg when I was turned down after my first application; had someone not washed out of the background checks, I’d never have known this life, since I wasn’t ready to try again after initial rejection. It’s enough to make someone grind their teeth down to nubs when we ponder our almostabilities.
Motivational posters outside of nearly every cubicle farm declare the need to forge onward in the face of adversity, and I suppose these work for the same kind of people that are inspired by daily work cheers that you might encounter in a Sam’s Club or a timeshare sales company. Personally, I found this motivational technique to be ineffective beyond seventh grade, but that’s just the cynicism talking. I’m more interested in seeing how our flawed champions rebound….will Tiger emerge from the shadows of his rampant sexuality to rise to the top again? Can Jim Bakker revive his ability to shake down naive religious followers with the promise of salvation via “love gifts” and tearful sermons? What sort of chance does Milli Vanilli have of ever putting out another hit song?
So I find myself at the same precipice of yet another almostability, and it deals with what you’re reading right now. In a month, you and I are gonna have our first anniversary. I started Half Past Awesome 11 months ago as a way to both find out if I still had the chops to amuse through writing and to function as a creative outlet for my insanity-addled mindset. I now feel like I want to kick it up to the next step, submit some stuff to the print world or at the least, grow the readership of the site. And yet. Yet I seem reluctant to make the next move, because I don’t know what the next move IS. Plus, the abject terror of rejection lingers. The best part of the safe harbor of this site is that there is no boss, no money and little chance of rejecting myself too terribly often. Outside of the one reader/patron of Patton Alley Pub who delighted in telling me the site was “um… a little self-absorbed”, I’ve been very happy with the interactions you and I have had over the past year.
I guess I just don’t want to let the opportunity to write at a higher level become another casualty of my own insecurities. An almostability.
Perhaps I’ll slide on down to Sam’s Club and see if I can muster up some courage after a rousing work-team cheer. Maybe they’re onto something.