Whenever you poke your head above the parapet of life and try something different, there is always a degree of trepidation. You can be gripped by fear, riddled with doubt or overcome with indecision. You do not know what to expect as this is new ground, never traveled before. You want to turn back, duck for cover or run as fast as you can in the opposite direction, never to return.
Exposure erodes composure. It is a necessary evil, a double edged sword. Trying something different involves making yourself vulnerable, baring a part of you that has no particular desire to be thrust into the limelight. It’s big, it’s scary and it’s real. It takes nerves, guts, pluck, call it what you may, but you require it in bucketfuls. I don’t like people looking at me, judging, commenting. Yet here I am.
A large part of you has no desire whatsoever to blow your own trumpet. You’re not one for grandiose solo performances, preferring instead to loiter at the rear of the brass section, bar the occasional hoot or parp when the conductor looks your way. But when you are passionate about something, truly believe in it, you are forced to cast your natural inhibitions aside and dive into the glare of public scrutiny.
When you are shy, nervous and unsure of your audience this is no walk in the park. You care about what others think and your skin is nowhere near tough enough to protect against any barbs of criticism fired in your direction. You’re not ready, but will you ever be if left to your own devices? You have no idea what to expect, so step forward and brace your body for whatever is hurtling your way.
You will be surprised, reassured, delighted, Family and friends will rally round and celebrate your achievement. They will bolster flagging confidence and massage frayed nerves. You expected no less from them but it’s still much appreciated and welcome. They are your rocks, the people who’ve stood with you during the good times and the bad. They are always there, yet must never, ever be taken for granted.
Then there’s the people you are reconnected with, those you had lost touch with for one reason or the other. Separated by time or distance, yet here they are as if it was yesterday and nothing ever changed. True friendships can survive such breaks in communication, the bonds run deep and hold firm. You grasp these bonds afresh, vowing never to let them unravel again. The past throws up fresh treasures to your present self.
There will be disappointment. Those you expected to be in front line, standing by your shoulder, are nowhere to be seen. You will be greeted with indifference, jealousy and ridicule. It stings but you must force yourself to rise above such hurdles. They are merely flesh wounds. The walking wounded can still walk and walking is what you must do. Forward, always forward away from their turned backs and judgemental looks.
For forward is where you belong. Those who wish to accompany you are welcome, old and new friends alike. For this is your moment and there is no time for recriminations or regret. You must seize the day and make it yours, casting aside the shrouds and shackles from darker times. You walk towards the light, enter and embrace it. Surrounded by those who matter, who want to be with you as much as you need them to be there.