They say that a journey of a thousand miles begins with just one step. And that is true. You have to start to get anywhere.

I am not a procrastinator. If I can go ahead and get it done now, that is what I prefer. I was that nerdy kid who did their homework early and as an adult who went back to college, I was even worse.

If I come up with an idea or plan, I want to get it all done right now. Having an ongoing project drives me nuts. I want to work until it is finished.

All of that is why I find my latest predicament so interesting.

I have not committed to any project since I directed a play in early January. I was needed elsewhere and at first I had no idea how long I would be needed. I have enjoyed resting and having very few obligations, although I am now getting antsy to work on several projects. Some are crafty things, some are home projects and one is a big project, maybe my biggest.

Most of the craft projects are things I need to do outside and it has rained for 40 days and 40 nights. And it’s cold!! I keep putting off starting because I know if I start, I will want to finish quickly and rain is not conducive to painting or really much of anything.

I have done a few of the things I wanted to do around the house. Which brings me to my big project. And that is where I keep hitting a wall.

Uncharacteristically for me, I am procrastinating. I find chores that need to get done and then small things that I should finish first and before you know it the day is gone, then the week. I finally decided that yesterday was the day and as I walked into my office, I decided that I didn’t like the way it looked and began moving furniture.

When the room seemed less cluttered and more user friendly, I sat at my desk, only to decide that I needed some of my quotes and paintings from the other room moved into the office as inspiration before I could begin. Then I needed my desk top rearranged and the pillows on the daybed fluffed.

Lo and behold it was time to start dinner so that was that. Tomorrow is another day, I thought.

This morning I had a few special projects to handle outside of the home. When I got back I decided it was too late in the day to start, so once again, tomorrow is another day!

Sitting down just now to write this, I looked at the calendar and decided that there are no excuses for tomorrow. Other than church tomorrow night for Ash Wednesday, I am free to start my new venture. Except I need to do laundry and I need to. . .

WAIT! Why am I doing this?

And then it hit me. I am scared to start because I am afraid to fail. For all of my bravado and advice to others, I am afraid that I will fall flat on my face. Where I profess to believe there are no failures, only lessons, when I say you have to meet failure as a friend and try again, I personally am not so keen on being involved in failure myself.

I realized the other day that part of why I don’t pursue more of what I want is because I am afraid to be found out as a fraud. If I only go so far, if I stop myself before I fail, no one will see that I am just not really capable to go any further. If I don’t commit to the group, then I will not have to one day be thrown out of said group when everyone realizes I should never have been there to begin with. (I am one of those people who always thinks that if an organization wants me as a member, it probably isn’t a very good organization, so why would I join?)

When you have dreamed of a project for years, maybe most of the years of your life, and you finally realize that you are now in a position to actually make that dream happen, it is scary.

When you have pursued every other dream that you thought you were supposed to have, you have pushed yourself into the dreams that others around you have, when you have tried to figure out just what dream you were made for and have come away empty handed, it is terrifying when that one small voice in your head keeps pushing you somewhere else.

When you have built a dream in your mind that was probably never really your dream and then had to even give that up, you feel let down. When you realize that maybe, just maybe that dream didn’t happen because it wasn’t the right dream, the voice gets louder in the void.

“If it doesn’t open, it’s not your door.” I have that posted in my office. How ridiculous! We get doors slammed in our faces all of the time. We have to keep knocking and maybe even start pushing to get in the door we want to walk through. It never just opens.

Or are we going to one day find that door that feels right, that doesn’t just automatically swing open, but that we know if we stand there long enough, we will get in? That it is our door?

I think I’ve always known the right door. I think I have been scared because if I have tried and failed at the wrong door, then so be it. Just not meant to be. But if I fail at the right door, at my door, what will I have left?

I am now ready to try the door and see if it is the right one or not. I am ready to stand and work, hopefully building the foundation to bring myself to actually knock and see what happens.

But first, I need to vacuum.



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Marietta is a graduate of the University of Montevallo with a BFA in musical theater. She has been performing for over 50 years on the stage and continues to perform, direct and teach. Marietta is married to Tim, has a son named Jon, and a cat named Penny.