Fearless or Embarrassing?

Once, I was fearless. There was a time when I would just put words or art or actions out there and just let them be what they would be. I had an art instructor tell me once as she held up an old painting of mine, “I liked this painter better. You didn’t have fear. Look at these bold colors…”

It’s not easy to get past that. It seems to be getting worse as I get older, not better. Yes, I’ve moved toward positions of greater responsibility in my day job and in my community activities. Yes, people are starting to look at me and say things like, “Oh, yeah… I thought you looked familiar.” It’s almost like I’m right at the edge of…

That’s just it. The edge of what exactly?

I had the opportunity to do yet another thing that was outside my comfort zone yesterday. I took the chance and I think things turned out well. I have told people in a quasi anonymous way that I am an old school role player but I have not given that claim much agency lately. Well, I busted out the books and dusted off some old notes and for the first time in many years ran a D&D game yesterday. It was a slow starter. It was a very small group (made even smaller by the fact that one of the invited came down sick). Two of the players had never played before, nor had they had any real exposure to the game outside of what showed up on Community or Big Bang Theory. I’ll admit – this was way outside my comfort zone. I’m at a loss to figure out why, but I was not at all confident – and that’s just silly. I’ve been playing longer than either of the new players has been alive. Maybe that was it? Maybe all this discomfort lately is my stupid, weird version of a mid-life crisis? At least I won’t be trying to buy a Porsche I guess.

I fumbled, but didn’t roll a 1, so we made it through the game. I think I could have done some things better or some things differently but nobody ran screaming… well at least not from the living room. Their characters on the other hand, let’s just say it was refreshing to get the reactions I did. Hopefully we’ll get to do it again.

As for me – I think doing something and not totally failing has added to my willingness to step out and do stuff again. Perhaps I’ll be more proactive and get things done. It’s worth a shot – even if I do critical fumble, at least I’m doing the stuff I think is fun.

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