Jessie: In New Hampshire where the leaves are starting to well and truly turn.
You know those things you think you can’t do? You know what I mean. Tight rope walking, singing on stage, learning a new language? Everyone I know, myself included, seems to have a running list of things we think we are not or things we simply can’t do. A veritable laundry list of impossibilities.
But every now and then something in life makes the world tilt ever so slightly on its axis and somehow a glimmer of possibility wriggles its way into the back of the mind. What if? What if I traveled overseas alone? What if I learned to scuba dive? What if I took that class?
My transformational what ifs started with a book. What if I could actually write one?
As many of you know the answer to that what if was a resounding yes. I did write one and then went on to write a bunch more. In the process of discovering that such a thing was possible my world tilted, a bit more than slightly, and I started to ask myself what else might be possible for me if I just stared down my laundry list of things I couldn’t do and asked instead “what if?”.
I have never thought of myself as possessing even rudimentary skills in drawing or painting but about a year ago I went to a class hosted at a friend’s house and left with a painting I still can’t believe I produced. It isn’t anything that will light the art world on fire but it far exceeds my wild imaginings of what I could ever dream of creating.
Over the last few years I’ve said yes to public speaking events in connection with my writing career even though I was a kid who couldn’t summon the voice to phone up and order a pizza. I would dial six digits and replace the handset in the cradle before reaching the seventh. My beloved little sister would have to take over and save the day if we were going to eat.
Most recently I have turned my what if question to running. By the end of today I should have completed Week 5 Day 3 of a Couch to 5K program. It takes eight weeks and I completed it once before at the beginning of the year but got sidetracked from continuing my running practice by coming up with a bevy of creative excuses. This time I am determined to see it through and then to ask what if I could be one of those people who regularly runs? After all, I can order pizza and travel to far away lands and dabble with paint in pleasing ways.
To think, it all started with asking myself if I could write a book!
Readers, which things have you thought you could not do and yet have surprised yourself by accomplishing?