Do I dare disturb the universe?
And how should I begin?
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse
- The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock
Sometimes I feel as though I was meant to do something great with my life. I think most people do; it’s part of the human condition. We’re all of us staring in our own movies, the heroes of our own stories. Yet, as such, many of us fear to take those great leaps, to accept the call to action and finally cross into the threshold of adventure.
There’s always time. There’s always time to write that novel and go back to school and apply for that new job and start a family. Until there isn’t. This is the thing that terrifies me, that keeps me up at night, and leaves me damp with nightmare sweats. What am I doing with my life?
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker
I’ve often heard that you should live each day as if it were your last. In one sense it makes sense — it reminds us all to be bold, to live without being held back. On the other hand, living each day as your last means there’s no point in setting goals, in planning, in making progress. A life without a future.
I’ve also been told that I should live life more conservatively, saving all my pennies, foregoing those daily lattes, and investing in real estate. It’s a life too calculated — for what truly is the opportunity cost of the risk adverse lifestyle? It’s too costly to be too careful.
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker
Am I making the right choices? Or rather the “right” choices? I know there’s no point in revisiting and revising my decisions too much. Living in the past is useless, painful, and fruitless. I can learn from my choices, and adjust for the future, but ultimately there’s a limited amount of information I can glean from looking back. But it’s so hard to keep my eyes forward when I don’t know which way to keep my focus.
Sitting there in my gut, in tandem with my inkling of greatness, is a deep abiding paralysis. It’s the gnawing edge in my belly that makes me think, “Oh look at her eyes glaze over when I’m talking, I should stop.” It’s that tightness in my chest that says, “Yeah, but there’s always someone better than me.” It’s that shaking in my fingers that makes me feel like, “You’re still too young. No one will take you seriously.”
And should I then presume? And how should I begin?
I want to disturb the universe. I want to throw off my fears and doubts and make a sudden leap. I want to find the greatness in my own life. I just don’t know how. I don’t know where I’m jumping to.
How do I begin?