Sitting on the sidewalk

At approximately 1:30am this morning I became embroiled in an intense war of words with myself. I am sure I am not the only one, nor will I be the last to experience that mighty sleep destroying, mental midnight drain. I was also unsure of which side won the mighty battle although I am going to guess it was not the good side given the restless sleep I eventually settled into.

You see, here I sit, mentally, on the edge of a Sidewalk of a busy crowded street. I am composed yet ready to pounce, impatient with desire, the desire to get to the other side. The street itself is not big, there is barely enough room for two cars to pass each other safely let alone the hundreds of people walking down it. I am imagining a street party with streamers and confetti hanging in the sunlit air and hundreds of happy, smiling faces. Is it New Orleans or is it Barcelona? Wherever it is I am not home and it is incredibly exciting. I want to get up, step into the street and join them. I want to dance in the sunshine the way they do and feel as happy and as confident as they look and just like that there is a break in the crowd. Finally! It is my time to go.

This is the part where time stops and I get my first real glimpse of the sidewalk on the other side. It looks so inviting and I know it will lead to more adventures, the kind of adventures I really crave but I just can’t seem to get up and make a start. I have been here before, this scenario is not new to me however this time I am determined, this time I am full of courage and this time I will have a crack at it. I get up ready to shimmy across the road and that is when the whole scene changes. Like I said, this scenario is not new to me and as has been the case a thousand times before. The side walk rises to an unimaginable height. The road below is no longer that little street bursting with happy, glorious energy, it has transformed into a monstrous multi lane highway. The storm clouds roll in and what were once people are now cars and trucks and motorbikes and all with the sole intention of knocking me down before I reach the other side. I don’t need their assistance, I sit myself down and as I do the highway turns back into that happy street and yet the storm clouds above stay.

What is that saying? Self-doubt is the greatest killer of all? It’s the killer of dreams? I know it has killed mine before, or so I thought. I have grown to believe that self-doubt doesn’t kill our dreams, we do. We let it sink in and control our minds and in turn, control our thoughts. My personal self-doubt arises from the need to change my career and seek meaning to my life, the thought that I am not good enough. I am nearly 30, how on earth do I complete with all those media and communications graduates? I have rent and bills to pay, how the hell do I pack it all in for an internship I most likely won’t be accepted into and if I did, would not likely lead to a job anyway? Who cares! We tell our friends the things we should also be telling ourselves “you will never know if you never go”, “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”. Why on earth don’t we also take the time to speak to ourselves this way? I have skills, I have experience, I have abilities and while they may not be the traditional skills most acquire before seeking full time work in their chosen fields they are mine and they will do and they will get me places, glorious, wonderful, happy places. I just need to believe in myself and tell that niggling self-doubt to go away. It will be hard and there are times you will not feel strong enough but when self-doubt starts to creep back in remember that street party and how happy and warm it made you feel. Take the time to embrace that feeling and the moment. We are good enough and we will get to the other side of that road! But first, Tequila and street dancing!

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