I had the opportunity to take my 5 year old son, aka the Noodle, to his Karate class this evening. Usually Mom has that duty but her schedule was jam-packed today. Even though I don’t always go to his class, I love watching him in that setting.
Driving him today I got to thinking, as I always seem to lately, how his perspective and embrace of the unknown compares and contrasts with my own process of connecting with my creative side. (Note to self: topic for a future post- is it always about me?) The more I thought about it, the more I realized that his 5 year old perspective warrants some consideration.
The Noodle has been taking Karate class for less than a year. He seems to have a perpetual case of the “squirmy worms”- he can’t sit still. Even when the class is at “ready stance”, Noodle seems have a need to stay moving. His kicks aren’t exactly intimidating. In general, I’d characterize his karate skills as the “enthusiastic amateur”. He looks goofy and silly- but he doesn’t care.
Noodle tackles every class and every exercise with uninhibited passion. He’s not concerned about what he looks like, what other people are thinking, or whether he’s “getting it” as he learns something new. He’s not letting that fear of failure stop him from trying something new and, as a result, he’s growing. Without realizing it, he will grow and evolve because of his embrace of the unfamiliar.
So what’s our problem? At what point in our lives do we lose that ability to put ourselves out there without second guessing ourselves? Wheres the benefit in saying, “I can’t do that.”
I recognize that understanding and assessing risk and consequences is an important part of maturity. That’s part of growing up- acknowledging that our choices and actions result in outcomes that are beyond our ability to control. There is sense is looking before leaping off high places.
BUT- I think the best choice is more subtle. Shouldn’t we note when healthy caution becomes stifling or suppressing? What is the benefit in being afraid to try something new or letting that caution stand in the way of our inner growth?
That’s what this whole process is about for me. I’m not quitting my job, moving into a van, and forgetting that I have a family to provide for. (But if that’s your thing- hey- good luck!) For me, this about not being afraid to try something creative- even if I look like a 5 year old with “squirmy worms” as I’m doing it. My writing might look goofy- so what?
So once again I ask you to consider- what’s stopping you from __________?
(Fill in the blank yourself- that’s your journey!)
p.s. As a footnote, I would also point out that I made some more progress on Story Blue this morning before work. Woot!