Last week, I was on the phone with my dear friend Laurie, and talk turned to various plans we had for ourselves for the near future. As we talked, I confessed that for my part, I was a bit nervous about taking the first steps.
"What are you afraid of?"
"Oh, you know, the usual: that I'll take this giant leap and fail miserably, Marcus and Alex will leave me in abject shame, and I'll be forced to die alone."
"Well, as long as you're not blowing things out of proportion."
"You know what I mean."
Laurie began to talk me off the ledge, pointing out that there was enough evidence in my life to indicate that I have, in fact, embarked on projects before, and realized some success with them. There was absolutely no logical reason to believe that this time wouldn't be the same.
She's right, of course. I mean, I'm still scared, but she's right.
Yesterday, my friend Marie celebrated her 34th birthday, and to celebrate, she wrote a blog post about lessons she's learned over the course of her life. One of the things she's learned, she says, was that she needed to "accept her nomination." She mentioned it almost in passing, so I sent her a note asking her to explain it to me more fully.
Marie said that a friend pointed out her habit of constantly downplaying her successes and blessings, not fully receiving the gifts she had clearly been given. Her friend said that it was clear what work and good things Marie was meant for, and she should therefore "accept that nomination" and go forth and make it happen.
It reminded me of a conversation I had years ago with Arun Gandhi, the Mahatma's grandson, who said that his grandfather taught him about "trusteeship." Mr. Gandhi said we all have talents -- each and every one of us -- but we feel like we own the talent or gift. However, the Mahatma believed that we don't own them, but rather we are trustees of the talent, and we are called upon to use these talents for the benefit of others.
Lots of lessons, recently.
I guess it's time to emerge and accept that nomination.