But, what about the things that may not even matter? Do you ever just make yourself do something, knowing that while someday, it might just feel like a brave first step or even an amazing leap of faith, but just as likely, it could be something that makes no large scale impact on your life and you forget entirely?
A lot of the time, you know that you can’t really control whether the chances you take and the efforts you make will amount to anything or not, so you just have to decide if the work involved in the endeavor is worth the possible payoff.
And you can’t possibly know until you try.
But one thing I know is likely~ doing nothing will get me nothing….
Which is why the other day, I forced myself to sit in front of my laptop screen and write and write until I had completed an application for a scholarship to a writing retreat in Bali.
It’s a long shot, a huge long shot and this I know. Even if I did win, I’d still have to get myself there, which is not a small feat since I live a really long ways from there, and air travel is pricey,.
But, in the event that my mini essays were chosen to be awarded the free retreat, there’s no doubt that I would most certainly figure out a way to get there. I mean, it’s Bali for goodness sakes, and it would include free spa style lodging, a bunch of cool classes and good food. That, as the wise Marie Forleo would say is most definitely figure-out-able.
But I knew that before there would even possibly be a need to figure any of that, I would need to apply.
I had the application in an open tab on my laptop for over a week before I started answering the questions, procrastinating that I didn’t have the right things to say, not feeling confident in my answers or my ability to present them coherently. And it’s a writing retreat, so I’m guessing that they might be, you know, judging applicants on their writing.
But, I finally forced myself to accept that the only way I could even possibly have a chance, no matter how slim, was if I took it, and that imperfect answers would offer a better chance than no answers and I started filling out the questions. It took a few attempts before I eventually just committed to continuing to answer them and not stopping until they were all done. I did it, and at that point I knew better than to allow myself to think about for too long~ I just hit submit.
No, I wasn’t entirely satisfied with my application and of course, later on I thought of 12 million better ways I could have expressed myself.
But it seems to me that more often than not, later on is never. And if I never sent it in, I’d never have the chance to go this retreat.
And really, even if they don’t like my writing, I mean all they can say is no, right? It’s not like they’re going to call me to tell me I suck if they don’t like what I have to say. I just won’t win, that’s all.
But, there’s also the chance that I could win. And that would be amazing.
I used to work with this woman who was an amazing mentor to me, both in life and on the job. One day, I had mentioned being interested in taking part in an online writing program through UCLA, which looked fantastic, but was not at all in my budget at the time. She, being one of the most positive and proactive people I have ever met, (seriously, this woman gets things done!) suggested I look into financial aid.
I had seen that there were scholarships, but hadn’t really thought too much about it because it was UCLA and I was a homeschooling mom who had only ever studied fashion in college and that was years ago but was now living in the mountains with goats and chickens.
I wasn’t exactly sure that I was the kind of student who they were looking for.
But my wise friend told me to share exactly that~ the story of who I was and where I was living and why this program would be such a good thing for me.
So I did.
And I won. I was able to take classes for a year and a half with that scholarship and I learned so much in the online community of those writers. And it never would have happened if I hadn’t just tried.
I mean really, that’s all you can do is try, but the coolest thing is that I’ve noticed that the more I actually do try for things that I want, the more cool things actually come my way.
I mean it’s basic statistics right? You can’t win if you don’t play.
So, I tried for a chance to write in Bali and I’ll keep making myself try for other things that may or may not ever pay off. And actually, I do think I’ll gain something out of trying~ the practice of being persistent and taking action towards my dreams is worthwhile whether I win or not.
How about you? What are you taking a chance on these days?