I Have to Stop Running

I run from words.

I live for them, too, but mostly I run from them. I run from the stories that live inside of me and beg for escape. I run from what I feel called to do. I fear failure. And success. I fear losing the love that I have for writing, like if I submerge myself in the deep end, get really messy, really try, and succeed, I won’t love it anymore. Like it will be tarnished somehow. But even if that’s true, how is this constant shying away any better? This constant excuse-making and distraction-seeking? This constant ache in my chest that knows I am capable of more. That I owe myself more.

Ashlee Gadd once told me, “Be generous with your gift. Unfortunately, since getting that email, I have gone the route of fear and hoarded my gift instead. I’ve barely written anything. I’ve let my blog lapse. I’ve backed away at warp speed from my professional aspirations. I feel like something inside of me has started to rat and fester. Probably my dreams.

I’m not going to live forever. Sometimes I think that I have all the time in the world to decide to pursue my dreams. But I’m reading Marina Keegan’s book right now. She was an incredibly mature writer for 22. Her stories in particular are beautiful. She had a buttload of potential, and she was on her path, and then she died, and not a single one of us knows how much time we have left. The thought of dying with all of my words still inside me makes me sick with fear.

So I have started noticing that tug of resistance that means I want to write but I’m finding excuses not to. I had just sat down with Marina’s book, in fact, when these thoughts swirled inside my head and my hand itched to hold a pen, and I nearly cracked the book anyway, but I forced myself to write instead. Because how will I ever know if I can make something of this passion of mine if I don’t lean into the fear and actually do it?

I have to stop running from the words.

I Have to Stop Running