Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Now I Love Going to the Grocery Store
It’s taken me a few days to start writing again after the kickstarter ended, I think because I was a little bit in shock that we actually pulled it off. I was hopeful in the beginning, but thirty days is a long time and after a few weeks I started to feel afraid.
What if I fail?
What if what I’m trying to do is actually stupid?
Which is the little voice inside of us all that keeps us small and prevents us from dreaming big dreams for ourselves. I have spent my life battling this little voice, and getting back up again when I allow it to win and knock me down.
Having spent most of my adult life as an atheist, I always thought people who had faith didn’t go through that. The definition of the word “faith” is kind of the opposite of “doubt” and I envied them this certainty.
Now I understand that without the experience of doubt, we can’t really know faith- which boils down to (I think) knowing that you’re okay.
So three days before the campaign ended, when we still had over 3,000 dollars to go, I reread the ending to my own book and remembered-
“Oh, right- I really believe that. I forgot. There’s nothing to be afraid of. Okay.”
And reminding yourself of this truth (which you always know anyway behind and underneath your conscious mind) feels to me like picking up a long thread that has been running through your life since birth. Just because you dropped it, that doesn’t mean it isn’t there anymore.
Just pick it back up.
It's not really that big of a deal.
And from then on it was easy-and I tried as hard as I could, and I made it a game, and I wasn’t afraid because I could already see that if I failed that could be funny too, and a story I would tell people later to encourage them after I succeeded the next time. And I had fun with it.
After that it was easy.
I think each time I do that it gets easier, actually.
And now I have so much gratitude for the world and all the people who believed in me that I even had fun at the grocery store because I kept looking in people’s eyes as I passed them in the aisle and smiling, thinking-
“Any one of these people might have given me a dollar last week. Anyone here could be someone who believed in this awesome thing that just happened to me.”
Which reminded me of last year when I was sick and I didn’t have enough money to pay for my airline ticket to go see my Dad when he was dying and an anonymous woman up at the AA meetings donated her airline miles to me through a friend. So that every time after that I would laugh to myself, thinking-
“Fuck. Any one of these women could be her. Now I have to love everybody up here.”
Which is an awesome feeling, actually.
You can get the same effect by anonymously doing something nice for someone who bugs you by the way.
So everyone at the store got a smile, and most of them smiled back, and instead of hurrying to get out of there and feeling weird and anxious like I sometimes do at the local HEB- it kind of felt like the whole place was full of my friends.
Which is what communicating online can make the world feel like.
And what I feel like as I start drawing things and getting this book I wrote ready to send out to strangers and people I knew in high school and facebook people I am not really sure how I know you and probably one or two people who are shopping in the aisles of the HEB grocery store up there right now-
Like my world is a smaller, sweeter place each time I reach out and just pick up the thread.