I’ve been taking some time to think about my life a bit and what direction I want to go in. I have a loving wife and 4 great kids but I feel that maybe I’m not living up to my full potential. I feel that maybe I need to do a bit more with my life and give it a bit more meaning. I don’t know exactly what that entails, but it’s been keeping my brain active for the last week or so.
As a child, and into my adult years, I loved to draw. I wanted to be a cartoonist for a while. Maybe not a newspaper comic strip kind of cartoonist, but something. I looked into doing greeting cards or magazine illustrations. I always doubted myself even though I was voted “Most Artistic” in high school. But that was a long time ago. 🙂 As with most things in my life, I let fear and doubt take over and I chickened out. I still draw from time to time, mostly for fun or to get a laugh from my kids. I know it’s technically not too late to try something in that field as I’m just beginning my 40’s, but I haven’t got the guts to put myself out there. I keep hearing that voice telling me that I’m not good enough.
My other passion is writing. I’m not the best writer or even close. I don’t have any degrees or even one college credit for writing, but I haven’t let that stop me from sharing here on my blog. I wasn’t sure about what kind of writing I wanted to do, but since religion was the biggest part of my life, it seemed logical to share about that. I have found that since leaving religion, I’ve had so much more to talk about. I’ve had my eyes opened wide and have had a lot more inspiration as a nonbeliever than I ever did as a believer. So a blogger I became.
Recently a blogger (whom I respect a great deal) made the suggestion that I gather up my writings from past posts and put them into book form. Now, writing a book has never crossed my mind before. I felt compelled to share my thoughts on a blog; at first believing it was a higher calling and then, after losing faith, believing it was my civic responsibility to share my story. But writing a book? That never even came close to being something I thought of doing. But once the seed of writing a book was planted in my brain, I got to thinking, “Could I do it? Do I have enough to fill a book? Would a publisher be interested? Who would read it? Am I foolish to think that I have what it takes to succeed if I tried?” All of these questions swirl in my head and I have a hard time answering them. I still give in to the fear and the self-doubt. I let my self-conscious mind take over and belittle me from within. It’s hard to explain if you yourself have never wrestled with low self-esteem.
So tonight I have decided to at least make an effort. If I don’t try to do something, how will I know if I will succeed or if I will fail? I have started to write down some of my thoughts and ideas for a book. I want to figure out how I want to lay things out. I’m still working on that, but I am going to try to do it. Even if no one is interested in reading my thoughts or heeding my advice, at least I will know that I did my best and I won’t have to add one more regret to my list. So I think I’m going to take a break from my usual blogging for a while to see what I can do with this new venture. I will still read posts on here and may add some of my own, but I will be devoting most of my time elsewhere.
I appreciate the support I have received here with my writing and I hope to still be an active member of this community. I think that maybe the chronicling of my journey from believer to nonbeliever might just be helpful to someone else who isn’t sure what to do. Maybe someone else is listening to the negative voices in their head and giving in to the fear and peer pressure around them. Who knows? Again, at the very least, I can say I tried to do something different and something meaningful in my life. We’ll see how things go.