We only have one shot at life! Timidity does not, therefore, always serve us well. Sometimes, we find we have to follow the Path of Passion, even if that does mean being daring, taking risks, leaping out into the unknown.
Four years ago, I gave up a secure, well-paid job, took a huge drop in available money – and set myself up as a writer. It was an enormous risk. It still is. As a teacher, I was making around £2000 a month; as a writer, I am lucky if I make £10 a year.
A year ago, I made the decision to end my marriage. This means putting a huge house, with its mortgage paid off, on the market, starting the process of buying a much smaller one (and taking out a small mortgage in my late fifties) and moving from the village I have lived in for the past seventeen years.
I have dared much since the end of 2011.
The track I have taken has terrified and horrified some: Those who cannot imagine a life without gazillions in the bank, two holidays abroad each year, a Range Rover, designer clothes and the option to send their children to private schools have been particularly scandalised.
But all the luxuries in the world cannot make up for unhappiness, a bad marriage, a job which is slowly eroding all your self-esteem, energy and hope.
It makes me want to weep when I see women who are just like I was five years ago: On anti-depressants, lonely, unfulfilled, unhappily married – and yet, just as I did, clinging on to the security of material possessions.
Men too. It is not just a female affliction.
Is it so daring to grab life’s passions, to take the risk of using one’s talent, though? Isn’t the long slow death of hope, of the soul, of one’s spirit, actually far more of a risk?
What are we prepared to give up in order to be ourselves? What are we prepared to dare in order that, when we finally pass on to the next realm, we do not cry out, ‘If only…’ as our souls detach from their corporeal hosts? Do we have the courage to use our Creator-given talents to the full even if it does mean a huge drop in income?
For years, I lacked the courage to take that vast jump of daring faith. For years, I lived in a cocoon of greyness and wealth which gave me very little of true worth.
I dared myself in the end, as far as quitting my job was concerned.
I no longer have spare money in the metaphorical pot! I will not be able to afford to go abroad for the foreseeable future. I have absolutely no guarantee that my love of writing will ever net me any kind of a living in the financial sense.
But, I have dared the inner writer to come out and express herself and play and be seen! And, by Goddess, she leapt at the chance and bounded out immediately! She knows that, were she paid for each post written on here, she would be comfortably off by now (having written, in total, well over three thousand of them!) – but that’s not the point!
She, this self who was trapped and trammelled for so long, has published five books! Wow!
A true dare does not invite you to step back into the house of luxury; it challenges you to bounce, or crawl, out of your comfort zone…
…and that is precisely what I have done, repeatedly!