Doing the Scary Things

Right now I’m in the process of doing three of the scariest things I’ve ever done in my life.

They’re not things I can write directly about lest my anonymity be somewhat more compromised than I’m comfortable with, but it really hit me today how far outside my comfort zone I’ve gotten with just my everyday life.

These things have stretched me mentally, physically, and emotionally.

Thing One will be completed around the fall/winter holidays this year, Thing Two will take at least a good two years to complete, and all three have the potential to completely change the future course of my life.

Most days I feel pretty good about all of it. Today I mostly feel tired and a little bit like hiding under a rock. My dreams have been intense lately.

But damn if I won’t feel capable of pretty much anything if I do Thing One. If I finish Thing One, I’m certain it’ll help my confidence with Thing Two. Both are helping to keep me more relaxed about Thing Three, which I can’t do much about at the moment because it hinges on so many more outside factors than the other two do.

With all the things, the only thing I can do is my best and recognize there are also factors involved that are beyond my control.

I keep going over the lyrics of a song (“It All Can be Done” by Nahko and Medicine for the People) that helped get me through my autism evaluation, which was the last really big difficult thing I did over a long period of time. These are the most relevant lyrics to me right now:

Lucky for us, there’s no one right way to live
And leave it to us to think that we are in charge

We do like to think that we’re in charge of things. That we have a great deal of say and influence in our own lives, and to a degree we do, but there are also a lot of things outside of our control. Past events, experiences, new information, other people, forces of nature, etc.

Part of me wants to sleep for the next couple of years and wake up with all the things completed. Finished. But the reality is that if I do that, nothing will get done.

So I’m going to do it. All of it. As much as I can do. This degree of hard work isn’t going to last forever.

The other song that’s helped me through this year is “Watershed” by the Indigo Girls. A dear friend introduced me to it in April after I talked to him about one of those three scary things in my life right now.

I’ve felt for months as though I’m just traveling through one watershed moment to another. The number of turning points and personal realizations I’ve had in the last 6 months is overwhelming to even think about now, in retrospect.

These are the most relevant lyrics from “Watershed”:

Up on the watershed
Standing at the fork in the road
You can stand there and agonize
‘Til your agony’s your heaviest load
You’ll never fly as the crow flies
Get used to a country mile
When you’re learning to face
The path at your pace
Every choice is worth your while
And there’s always retrospect (when you’re looking back)
To light a clearer path
Every five years or so I look back on my life
And I have a good laugh

I’ve made choices. I’ve made commitments. I’m doing the scary things. Who even knows where I’ll be five years from now. I certainly couldn’t have predicted any of these things at the beginning of this year.

When I was told before my evaluation that being diagnosed would open doors to me in my life, I could never have dreamed how true that would be. Nor could I have dreamed how intense this would be.

But I’ve somehow survived the last several months and I will survive the next several also.

One thought on “Doing the Scary Things

  1. Thank you for your post! I wish you all the best, and I totally understand how you can feel. In 5 years from now? I can think I felt the same 3 years ago when I jumped into writing a doctor thesis, I have 2 more years. Will be 5 years then. Yes, it’s scarying, but with G.d held we will manage it. Even if we are autistic. Good luck! and many greeting from France!

    Liked by 1 person

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