I think Taylor Swift might be my power animal.
I've been putting off checking the comments on my final university project for almost four months now. Earlier this week I decided it was finally time to bite the bullet but, even then, I had to listen to “Shake It Off” on repeat several times before I worked up the nerve.
Like, what if they'd said something mean?
Turns out, I was worrying about nothing. The comments were largely positive, and I came away from the computer feeling I had an achievable tick-list of things to work on, rather than the obituary of any authorial aspirations I may once have cherished.
And – as is so often the case in the life of a serial procrastinator – that got me to thinking.
It was no great shock to realise I've chickened out of taking potentially-beneficial chances in the past – but just how often? And was staying in my cowardy-custard comfort zone ever worth it?
Terry Crews has an interesting take on fear. The way he has it, fear is good – fear lets you know you're doing something new, something unfamiliar, and only by embracing the exotic do we grow and develop as individuals. I never thought I'd say this, but I agree with Cheeseburger Eddie.
Job interviews scare me. Approaching girls scares me. The risk of failing, or of making a tit of myself, scares me. Clowns scare me, too, but that's terra I'm happy to leave incognita. Anyway, the point is that all these things that scare me, these are things that simply have to be faced if I don't want to end up a bit of a Norman Bates, frontiers I have to explore if I want to move out of the ol' homestead.
And, much like Jack Sparrow, fear can be our magic compass, pointing towards our heart's desires (also like Jack Sparrow, my internal compass often points towards the rum, because is there anything less intimidating and more reassuring than fine, fine rum?). Generally speaking – and apply some common sense here, folks – I'm finding that the more scared I am to take a chance, the more beneficial it's likely to be.
If you still need a little push to actually go for it, imagine trying to explain why you chickened out to Ernest Hemingway – and if that doesn't do it, it's gonna take more than my inane wittering to sort you out.
At the end of the day, I'm not sure those risks and gambles would ever have paid off and, even had they, where I might be now. At least I would know, though. No more 'what-ifs' or 'where-coulds'. Wouldn't that be nice? There'd be no more wondering anymore and, wondering being my bread and butter – self-confessed serial procrastinator, remember – maybe I'd actually get shit done that way. Plus, I'd have a hell of a lot more funny stories to tell on nights out.
It'd be nice to tell funny stories on a night out, instead of becoming one.
Starting next week (last week, technically, but I dropped the ball today) The Grown-Up Game will be updating bright and early Friday mornings, and don't forget that The Charity Shop Book Review will be updating on the second Tuesday of the month - the 14th - as it always does. This month I'll spend a great deal of time discussing zombies, despite the reviewed book not containing a single example of the ambulatory deceased.