Saturday, March 21, 2009

Bunny Hills and Karaoke Songs

Fear is a curious thing….it can paralyze…it can motivate….it can damage…it can even inspire. The last few years, my mantra has been “don’t act out of fear - don’t decide out of fear - be proactive - have faith.” Fear causes me to act in the most irrational ways…..

Case in point:

When I first moved to Indiana in the early 1990’s, my (then) hubbie took me skiing in Michigan. I had never seen that much snow in my life…..I had never worn so many layers…giant gloves and goggles…and snow pants. I felt as if I were going to walk on the moon….the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man had nothing on me……

I took the obligatory ski lesson (which I was grateful) and set out for the bunny hill armed with the knowledge that if I fell, I knew how to get up. My (then) hubbie was off skiing the expert slopes and had pretty much left me to my own devices. There I was standing at the foot of the bunny hill….walking awkwardly in skis….looking around……and trying desperately not to look like a big ski-dork.

Looking to my left, I saw the tow rope the skiers used to get to the top of the hill. In my usual take charge fashion, I confidently trodded over to the moving rope and grabbed a hold----SPLAT! There I was…face-first in the snow…skis entangled…body flattened…..rolling around in the snow next to the tow rope trying to get my Stay Puff Marshmallow Man-self up….Wow….that was embarrassing!! I moved away from the rope and watched the bunny hill novices miraculously grab onto the rope and be ushered to the top…..oooohhh….they bent their knees and set back a little. A little more skeptical this time, I plodded back to the rope…this time armed with a little more knowledge. I bent my knees, grabbed onto the rope and was ushered to the top. Now this wasn’t too bad.

Wow! The hill didn’t look so tall from the bottom. I stood at the edge of the hill precipice…..dang!! Looking around desperately for another way down….I watch and hope for a miracle…..that I could just wiggle my nose and be transported down to the bottom….no such luck. I watch the little kids going down the hill-coming back up-going down-coming back up…..and think, “Becky Pruitt you can do this!!” So there I stand….ready to go 1…2…..2 ½ …..2 ¾ …no……okay…okay…here we go….I stand on the edge ready….poles in hand….determined…..1…2…I can’t…. The people around me must have thought I had lost my mind. This is the bunny hill for goodness sake!! An hour later….as I am still standing on the top of the bunny hill desperately hoping for a miracle…..up there all by myself…..I finally muster the courage to push off the hill and plow my way down. Whew…that wasn’t so bad!! When I got to the bottom, there was the (then) hubbie grabbing my arm telling me now that I had an hour or so practice on the bunny hill, I was ready to tackle the intermediate slope (did I mention that he is now the X….)

Last night, I did the same thing with karaoke. It is a foreign concept to me and for some strange reason (plus some past history…the X was a musician) it scares me to death. I want to be perfect (or at least not suck) and it is one of those things where you actually have to practice and be willing to try and fail. There are so many things out of my control (like the bunny slope) and so many variables. So I stand there looking at the words…trying to sing…but the words just won’t come out. I just can’t commit to sing….I just can’t seem to “go for it…” the risk of failure seems too great. Standing on stage, I try hard as heck to look “cute”….try not to get frustrated…. ….1…2….2 ½ …2 ¾ …. not going to happen……and I look for my escape…. and sit down once again without singing. The funny thing is---I WANTED to sing….desperately…but I just couldn’t.

The question looms……is this what I do when I am afraid?? Do I stand on the top of that hill and become paralyzed with inaction?? Do I second guess… and look for an escape? Am I missing out on the joy in life because I hold back…too scared to push off of the hill and start a journey…..sing a song……take a risk?

Be Brave, Becky….be brave!!


Scrapper Dad said...

Very fine read indeed. I can almost see the snow scene and smell the fear. Fear of taking the first steps can severely limit your blessings in this world. There is risk in all things but we take chances to attain what we want. Sometimes the first step isn't even a step. It could be to carefully open your heart and reveal your truely beautiful soul.

Becky P said...

Thank you! I seem to be perpetually telling myself to not be afraid to take that step. One would not think that of me if they saw me in person, but inside the battle to be brave is great. That first step is always the hardest for me - - I think it's because I am starting from a standstill - standing on the top of that bunny hill.....willing my muscles to move. Once I get going, it all seems to fall in place.

Your comments are always so thoughtful...thank you!