This week's IndieInk Writing Challenge comes to me from Trish, who asks what I have done that I didn't think I could do. This is not an easy question for me- I have done very little, and I think I am capable of even less. I never learned to ski, or play the piano, or play the piano on skis. But challenges are to make us stretch, so stretch I will. (My challenge will be answered by Alyssa.)
I don't know how to approach this through the front door. I'm not a inspirational person by nature. I don't dislike inspirational stories- you will find no bigger fan than me of Randy Pausch's "The Last Lecture" (the book, the audiobook, or the lecture itself). But I have trouble translating inspirational stories into the blood and sinew and bounced check fees and library overdue fines of my own life. I read it and feel inspired, but when I come away from it, the lessons don't seem real.
I'd like to tell you about a big goal I set, worked hard for, and achieved. That seems to be the point here- dreaming a big dream, then achieving it. I guess having a child suffices- that certainly wasn't hard to achieve for us, but the nature of it as an achievement is questionable. Graduating college, maybe- I certainly had my doubts I could do that, and I did. But that was less a matter of achievement than one of stubbornness- I graduated because I was too stubborn not to.
So once again, I'm going to attempt a bank shot. I'm doing this because I can't think of what else to do, and I'm doing this because I have an instinctive distaste for talking about myself. (Strange quality in a blogger, I admit.) In truth, I am doing this because it feels like the only thing I can do. What follows is fiction.
"Chase? Chase? Are you listening to me?"
"I don't think I can do this."
"Of course you can do it."
"No, no...I really don't think I can."
"It's so big. Such a big thing to do. Bigger than anything. It's too large for anyone to handle. I know it's natural, and it's normal. But it is too much for me to handle. Too much work, too much stress, too much."
"People handle it all the time."
"I know. I feel like a freak for saying so, but I'm scared. I'm scared of what this will to do me, what it will do to us."
"I know," Chase said. "I'm scared, too. But I'm here for you. With you, You don't have to do it alone."
"Believe me, I appreciate that. I do. But there are parts- like this part- I have to do by myself. You can't do this for me."
"I know." Chase was quiet.
After a few minutes, she spoke again. "Chase?"
"It doesn't matter if I'm ready or not, does it?"
"No, it really doesn't. This is happening whether or not we're ready. But I think we're ready. We're as ready as anybody is, doing this."
"I don't think we're ready. I don't feel ready. There's so much to know."
"We'll figure it out."
"We don't have a lot of time. Any time."
"No, no we don't," Chase said.
"Don't you feel guilty? I mean, don't you feel like we should be better prepared? It's our fault she is here."
"I know. But we'll learn."
"I can't help but think we should have gotten ready. Read a book or took a class or something."
"Maybe. But we're here now. We know what we know, and what we don't know, we'll learn. But I'll be with you, every step of the way. I'm not going to abandon you."
"OK," the doctor said. "Time to push!"