Sunday, September 5, 2010

a beginning

So, a long time ago, I was babysitting this 4 or 5 year old boy and it was his bedtime. It was an unbelievable hassle to get him to brush his teeth and put on pajamas and all that rigmarole. When I finally had him tucked under his covers, and I'd finished reading the longest book he could find, I breathed a sigh of relief. I was beyond ready to close the door and go downstairs and get some homework done. But as I was leaving the bed, telling him to go to sleep now and have sweet dreams, he looked up at me and said: "I don't know how to sleep."

That sentence stopped me. It felt like something solid; it struck me and I felt it long after I had spun some baloney to the kid about counting sheep. Truth was, when I thought about it, I didn't know how to sleep either. I was 17 years old and I'd gone to sleep every night of my life, doing what I didn't know how to do.

Now, years later, a friend tells me "you're stronger than you think." He wasn't speaking in Cliché, he was actually talking about my rock climbing abilities, about how I should try climbing harder routes. It's the same for me with writing. I have a thousand journal entries, and pieces of stories, and they're good, but I really need to attempt the harder route. I have an excess of insecurity though. And a sneaking suspicion that that really is _all_ that is holding me back.

That's why tonight, I'm thinking about the little boy I once knew, and that moment, when he told me he didn't know how to sleep. I'm thinking about doing what I don't know how to do. I'm beginning to understand that that is the only place anyone starts from, when reaching for a dream.