Thursday, March 19, 2015

What If

My friend Kim and I sat at Panera like we do nearly every week. My massive and clunky laptop next to her sleek little two-in-one tablet. Our teas rested in our hands as we took sips. (Mine was some mango thing for those of you who are following my quest to find a tea I like.) We've been writing buddies this year and we read each others pages and give feedback while catching up on life and bouncing around ideas. I hadn't gotten much done this past week. I had intended to have a chapter ready to go for our writing date, but when I had sat down at my laptop to write it, nothing came to my mind. I shared with Kim my goals for the book and a general timeline of when they would happen. We agreed if I stuck to it, the goals were 100% doable.

Okay, it's not Panera. I took this at Starbucks this morning.
But I had tea and I was writing. So, it works.
"But what if it's not good enough?" I asked. "What if my ideas aren't creative enough? What if the characters are too shallow? What if no one wants to read it?"

Kim considered my question for a moment. She then gave me wise words from her mom.

I just want to say - I love Kim's family. I'm not only friends with her, but her older brother, his wife, her younger sisters, her mom, and her dad. They're pretty fantastic.

"If you're going to spend so much time worrying, then you might as well spend time thinking about the other stuff too. What if it is creative enough? What if the characters aren't too shallow? What if everyone wants to read it?"

It's not a brand new concept. Thinking positively. It's common advice. But, this time it made me think. How much time do I spend thinking about the worst that could happen? It wouldn't hurt to think about the best that could happen.

I feel as though lately this has been the attitude I've been going into this with. While applying for jobs I can't help but think "They probably won't hire me anyway..." Or I have a wedding I'm going to this weekend and I think "It's going to be annoying and awkward and I won't have anyone to talk to." Or the Les Miserables audition I have coming up next week and I keep telling people "I'll probably just be in the ensemble..." Or I think about dating and talking to a guy and I'm all "It'll just be awkward and they won't like me anyway!"

But what if it's not that way? What if it is my dream job and they do hire me? What if the wedding is the best weekend ever? What if by some miracle the director thinks having a female play Enjolras is a brilliant idea? What if that guy does like me and it's the first of many dates, or even "the one?" (If there is such a thing.) What if?

We could drown ourselves in thinking about the negative what ifs. We can think of how it all could go wrong. We could dream up of the worst possible scenarios where we face the worst rejection of our lives.

But we can also dream of the best scenario.

Tyler Oakley talked about this once in a podcast. He was doing a podcast where he was giving advice and one of the questions he was given was (from what I'm assuming is a younger fan, probably high school) about what to do if they like someone or want to ask them out. Tyler flat out said "Just say hi." He had read a book about this very concept that you have to just go out there and try. Usually, if you compare the worst case scenario to the best case scenario, the best one outweighs the worst. Then, when you go for it, even if the result falls somewhere in the middle, it's okay.

So, this week, I want to try and be brave. Go for the audition. Fill out the application and send in the cover letter and resume. Ask out the guy. Enjoy the wedding. Write the novel.

You never know, right?

1 comment:

  1. Our attitude about things is a very, very powerful thing. When I let myself get grumpy sometimes, especially about something that I have to do for the first time, it's way less fun! I hope you were able to be as brave as you were hoping this week!


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