I do not speak Italian, but I will. At some point. SirG and I are going to go to Italy sometime next year and I want to be able to speak the language, at least a little, by that time. One of the common things people do, who don’t speak a language very well, is refuse to speak it. They don’t want to sound silly. I get that. I also get that if you don’t practice speaking it, you won’t ever speak it well.

I’ve made fresh pasta before, but I haven’t made it often. I wanted to brush up last weekend. Anybody can look at the dough ball here and see that it’s going to be a tough dough and tough pasta. I didn’t have the right flour, so I used all purpose. I wanted the practice more than I wanted to go to the store for semolina.

This is a good pie crust. I can tell by looking at it that it was flaky. I’ve perfected my pie crust by tweaking the little things and doing it often. I screwed up the crimping on the edges. That’s okay. Next time.

I’ve gotten to a point in my life where mistakes don’t bother me. I just look at them as the humps I need to get over to get where I want to go.

I don’t mind looking silly in front of groups either. I’ve done back flips off the diving board at the pool below, in my forties, in front of strangers, even though I hadn’t done them since I was a kid. My form sucked.

I’ve taken on speaking engagements, though it was one of my greatest, heart thumping, anxiety producing activities for years. I shook. I stammered. I made visual aids so nobody had to look directly at me. I got through it. I got better.

When I was just learning to ski, as a 28 year old adult, I went down expert runs that just about killed me. I fell. I lost my skis. I bent poles. I did many many face plants and have gotten a lot of huge bruises. Today, skiing is one of the great joys of my life.

Sometimes I throw my arms out and glide in big arcs down the mountain pretending I am a bird. I imagine my joy looks like a point of light to God, and as I sail down the mountain, I imagine what it must look like to Him, me and my tiny point of joy light…..

Right now I’m participating in NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month. My goal is to write 2,500 words per day for the month of November. I’m up to 1,100 today so far. It’s 4:00 am. It’s okay if I write badly. I’m going to get better.

The photo at the right is my foot. I’m sitting on top of Mt. Beardstadt, a “fourteener”. These are a challenge. The altitude makes it really hard to put out the physical exertion. It’s hot at the bottom, and cold at the top. Your hands swell up. Carrying just the right amount of water is a trick. It can be dangerous. When I first started climbing, I was scared of bears, mountain lions and snakes. I would hike along feeling “watched”, imagining what I would do if an animal approached, eyeing big rocks, carrying a stick….  I did it anyway.

I started taking ballet again, after a 25 year gap. I learned to play the piano at 34 years old. I started life over at 43. And, my soul sang.

The best lesson ever…..Years ago I went roller skating with some friends. I didn’t know how to roller skate. I was so embarrassed. I wouldn’t do it. I sat on the sidelines not wanting to look silly. Sitting on the sidelines out of fear and embarrassment was the theme of my childhood. I remember one of our friends who did skate though. He was horrible. I’m smiling as I type this. He was all over the place, falling, grabbing the side boards, wiping out…He was having so much fun! And, nobody was laughing at him for looking ridiculous. We were all laughing because he was having such a great time. I was missing out because I was too afraid to look silly in public. I’ve never, ever forgotten that lesson. I should tell him today, that he taught me something 30 years ago without even realizing it.

Being willing to be vulnerable is such a gift, you know? What an accomplishment in itself that is! It doesn’t matter what anybody thinks. What does matter is putting myself into the arena and making a stab at creating the life I want. Because, when I look at the pictures here, I know I wouldn’t have done any of these things, that have become my soul’s delight, if I was afraid of trying and worried what others thought.

So, where am I going with all of this me me me stuff? If you want the life you want, you have to start somewhere. A few suggestions.

Decide what you want. This sounds obvious, but I see a lot of people complaining about where they are and what their life looks like, but who have no idea what it is they do want.

Decide what you need. What’s holding you back? Do you need lessons? A class? A youtube video? A friend who can show you? A piece of special equipment? Money? What? Then, brainstorm ways to get it.

Choose your cheerleaders well. There are plenty of naysayers out there. They are everywhere and vocal. These are not your cheerleaders. Even people who love you are not necessarily your cheerleaders. When you are starting a new endeavor, share it with only those people you know will be supportive of you and enthusiastically support you. In the beginning, one vocal naysayer can be a dream stealer.

Don’t share your plans with everybody and anybody. This is similar to the point above. But, what I mean here is, don’t dilute your idea or plan by talk talk talking about it. Just begin it. Talking about it too much dilutes the energy you need to be putting into your dream. Clam up and get moving.

Do what you want, not what you think you should. Self explanatory, I think. If it feels good and right to you, do it. This is your life. I’m not talking about hurting others, dumping on them or discarding their well being, if your decisions impact others. I’m just saying, if it makes your soul sing, pursue it. Don’t give one thought – ever – to impressing others. This is not what this is about. You are creating what you want.

Start from where you are. Don’t wait for perfection, until you are perfect, perfectly prepared, totally assured of success. That’s a form of procrastination. Just get the basics in place, do some homework, then begin. You will work out the kinks along the way.

Be flexible. You will evolve as you go. That’s okay. If the idea or plan you started with, changes into something else, that’s okay. It’s a good thing. Letting something flow naturally into what feels right, is a great way to find your niche, your bliss.

Be willing to fail. Begin again. And again. And again…..Most of the fun in life is in the doing, the creation, not the sitting, worrying or complaining. Be the one who steps up to the plate.

Have fun!

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