Last week I wrote about walking out on the ice, even when it's scary. In response, a reader named Jen wrote a beautiful and moving comment that contained the following words of wisdom: "When in doubt, always do the more active thing".
WHEN IN DOUBT, ALWAYS DO THE MORE ACTIVE THING.
Well, of course! It's so obvious.
Why, then, do I never do it?
I mean, I do it sometimes. Professionally, I do it more than sometimes. But personally? No, sir.
And in which arena of my life have I been more successful? Hmmmmmmmm. Excuse me while I narrow my eyes thoughtfully and tap my cheek with my index finger.
Yeah, I'm gonna go with "professionally." It's not even a contest.
If I were as successful at my life as I am at my job... things would be pretty damn amazing. But I have these trust issues, and I'm busy, and... blah bluhblah blah.
Excuses are so easy, aren't they?
The thing is, I like change. I like adapting to new situations.
Which reminds me of an exchange I had with Marta Kauffman a few years ago. (If y'don't know, Marta Kauffman co-created Friends.) At the time, WP and I were students in the WGA Showrunner Training Program, and Marta had generously offered to speak to us newbie-types. When we broke into small groups, I asked Marta if she'd ever gotten tired of working on Friends. It may seem like an odd question, but people who work in television seldom have the same job for more than a few years. Ten years on the same show seemed almost unfathomable to me. Still does, frankly. But Marta Kauffman looked at me like I was loco. Apparently she loved every moment of her ten years on Friends. More power to her.
I'd have gone nuts.
Because I'm happier when I change things up. When I'm doing THE MORE ACTIVE THING. So, should I sell my house? YES! Should I have a baby? YES! Should I somehow find the time to bust-ass on my next Young Adult book series? Uh, yeah.
Okay, then. I'm on it!
Now, how did I not fully realize this about myself until I read the words all strung together like that in Jen's comment? As a reader named Jessica recently pointed out, it's "good to have others who can look at the ice when I'm teetering."
Well said, Jessica. And thanks, Jen, for being my lookout on this one.
Jen's advice is closely related to one of WP's favorites: If you're not sure whether or not to go to law school, don't. If you're not sure whether or not to have a baby, do.
What words of wisdom have made you understand yourself/the world a little better?