Why Are We Braver At 5 than 25?

A few weeks ago I decided to leave a sales job because I was essentially intimidated out the door. I wasn’t amazing at cold calling or lead generating or whatever telemarketing is calling it these days, and it was never something I had planned to do with my life. I took it for a paycheck, for the potential that it could turn into something else. Not a dream job, but at least tolerable. Tolerable…that’s what I settle for these days. Not crying on my way to work, not wanting to hide under my desk, not wanting to down an entire bottle of wine when I walk back through my front door.

Shortly after I decided to walk away from this job that was making me miserable, my mom told me a story about when I was a little girl. She had told me that when I was 5 years old she took me and my younger sister ice skating for the first time.

I took one step onto the ice and like any other uncertain and terrified child I held on to the side of the wall and slowly made my way around the rink. It was then I noticed a boy that I had a crush from kindergarten coming onto the rink and skating around with some of his ice hockey friends. She watched me let go of the wall and wobble over to him. He took my hand and said “I got ya!” I guess he had a crush on me too since he never let go of my hand and he skated with me the rest of the time. It was quite romantic for kindergarten.

The moral of this story…I would NEVER do this in my 20’s.

Yet again when I was 12 years old, I got the part in the elementary school chorus to sing the national anthem in front of the entire school including parents. The thing is I did this, and even though I did it well, I did have a tiny mistake where I choked a bit on a high note. Not even very noticeable. And you know what, I kept singing and I didn’t let it eat at me for days. Now a days, it feels like if I have to leave someone a voicemail, I have to write out what I want to say in fear of making myself look foolish by stuttering or pausing too long or forgetting why I called entirely.

When we’re young, we don’t know that it’s possible to fail. We think we’re going to be everything we ever dreamed of when were adults. We think we’re going to be superheroes. Instead, I feel like a coward. Too afraid to speak out or try something new or go for bigger dreams. We tend to think so small minded and keep our sights close. I have had dreams of being a writer since I was seventeen. I even went for journalism in college. But somehow, after flunking a few classes, and completely losing my confidence and passion for it, I wanted nothing to do with being a journalist or a writer. I had lost my moxie.

After some time and a lot of realizing that I don’t want a career in anything else, I have decided to take to the keyboard once again. I haven’t written in almost three years and maybe everything I write at the start maybe be horrible and no one will take any notice, but I think even bad writing and sticking to my dreams is better than not writing at all for fear of trying. It has always been this one thing I keep coming back to. I think about different plots for novels and when I hear someone speaking I think about how that would be amazing dialogue in that book. I love making a great sentence, I love writing poetry, I love reading an enticing book. The bigger picture here and moral of this new story is I am still courageous, I am still that girl that let go of the wall, and I am still going to be a writer.

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