Mr B said to me, “I really want to take you to Paris, someday. So that we can sit in a cafe and eat croissants with coffee.” It was lovely, this invitation and then..
And then I said, “I’m too fat to go to Paris.”
In a sputtery, incredulous way, Mr B asked, “What! What did you just say? Why would you say such a ridiculous thing?”
“It’s the title to my next blog post.” I replied. “I’m Too Fat To Go To Paris. It popped into my head, when you said we should go. It sounded wonderful, sitting with you in a parisian cafe and then I started to think about why I couldn’t possibly go to France. The French don’t like Americans. The French don’t like fat people. I’m a fat American. I should avoid France all together.” He looked puzzled. I took this as an invitation to continue, ” I want to write about taking myself out of the game. I’m going to write about how I have let fear stop me from living and why I don’t care anymore if skinny french bitches are looking at me. I’m going to eat a croissant in Paris. I think I might want to ride an elephant in India, too.”
So, I take myself out of the game. I do this when, I say,
“I can’t do this, I can’t do that, I’m too slow, too clumsy, too smart, not smart enough. I’m busy. I’m serious. I’m silly. I don’t have all the answers. I haven’t got the right: equipment, swim suit, eye make-up, underwear. I might not be perfect at this and shouldn’t I be perfect? I think I would rather just read a book about this Paris, you speak of.”
And oh, this is simply not good enough. Life is too short for half-measures. Life is too short for the sidelines. The good bits, the exciting, all-in, leave it on the table, balls-to-the-walls, messy, imperfect Life is happening on the field, in the parisian cafe, falling over in snowshoes in the woods. It’s out there when you are trying your best and falling short or maybe exceeding. Living is stepping out the door. It’s taking a chance and just doing something- anything, without reservation. Consider the word Abandon: noun. Complete lack of inhibition or restraint. That is what I am talking about, this is what I am looking for, abandon. Now, I’m going to go find my knickers and get out there and mix it up. You with me?
Tell me what you did this week that made you feel alive. I went out in a snowstorm to meet with strangers, ate cake for breakfast, hit the ‘publish’ button, screamed “listen to the birds!!” at my teenage son, and stomped in slushy, wet, snow puddles in my wellies.