Maybe because of the Paris attacks this blog which I started sometime last week has become even more relevant for me.
We hear it all the time - live each day, love deeply and tell people you love them that way, dance and sing and do whatever it is you want to do because there are no promises for tomorrow. Yet do we really do it ?
I've always wanted to ... I think of how many times someone has said that to me and it is usually followed by "but I". These are rarely huge things - like climbing Mt Everest - rather they are things that somehow do not fit in with the person's other parts of life. I lost count of how many times I had said this phrase but then I met a few people who pushed me to try these things and I am so grateful that they gave me permission to not be perfect but to be unafraid.
Recently a friend of mine said to me that he had always wanted to draw, he doodled a lot, and yet he had never really done it. I bought him some drawing things but that is not what was holding him back. He is a brilliant man in so many ways and really well rounded but underneath that there is this thing he wants to do, that is really bit out of character with the other parts of his life and that is holding him back. He may hate it if he tries it but I just keep telling him - try it, you may be amazing and you will feel amazing for having tried it even if you are better off doodling.
I went to an art exhibit at MOMA and one of the women I went with told me she would love to sculpt - I asked what kind of art she did and she laughed and said she does nothing creative. She has it in her if she has always wanted to try it ... she is smart, funny and confident but this, well this outside of what the world sees in her or what she projects I should say. I told her to take a class... she may do nothing more than to find out she may like to look at it more than to sculpt or she may find out she has always wanted to do it because it is in her to produce some great creations.
For me I always wanted to paint - so I started in my 30s full on oil paintings and I love it. In my 40s I started a blog and tennis, both because as I mentioned it to a friend of mine who basically reminded me that if I want it I should go for it. As I get older I realize that there are things I have always wanted to do but have been too restrictive with myself to try them, too hard on how I will not be outstanding in it and most of all too hard on saying it is ok for me to do something that is for myself even though I am a full time work outside the home mom in the past 11 years. There are more things I've always wanted to do and slowly I will try and get to them - as I got older I care more about teaching my children to embrace trying and failing just as much as trying and succeeding.
I look at the world that seems so often filled with endings and there is a realization that we all have choices. We can choose to be hateful, afraid, angry and destroy. We can also choose to say we want to create, to build, to be enjoy. My friends are truly special people and yet I wonder if at times they too need reminding of this fact - that they can try those things that may not be what others associate with them but that they have always wanted to -- imagine how many inventions, artworks, musical pieces, technology would not have been a reality if their makers didn't say well I am going to do it because I have always wanted to. We find it so much easier to not put ourselves out there, to not follow some thought because it may lead to us not being good at it but who cares ? It is for ourselves that we should do these things if they become lauded then that much better but if they do not I feel like it is still a win for the fun of trying it. Go ahead have fun ... be silly .. be in love .. be creative ... play video games ... take up that sport that you have always wanted to ... learn to photograph.... or learn to relax -- if that is what you have always wanted to do.
What is it that you have always wanted to do that will make you blush if you told anyone, maybe glance around before saying it and what is stopping you from changing that to "Boy am I happy that I started [ insert your thoughts here ] because it was what I have always wanted to do it."