One Saturday we were eating breakfast with friends, when one of them told us about our church's annual blessing of the animals. A chicken escaped and ran across the road. It prompted the joke why did the chicken cross the road? We laughed and joked some more.
Have you ever seen a chicken run across the road?
I've seen chickens sprinting in yards, some so close to the road I wonder if they're looking for a crossing guard.
Joking aside, what road are you trying to cross?
Does it seem too big and busy to safely get to the other side?
Is it a project that needs starting or finishing? Do you have a homework assignment tapping on your shoulders?
Is it an appointment you need to make – to a doctor, to a dentist, to a therapist? Do you need to tell your parents something serious? Do you need to tell your children or significant other something?
Is it an apology you need to make? Is it finding forgiveness for someone who has wronged you? Is it stopping a destructive habit?
Is it a dream you refuse to allow to become a reality?
In this month’s Talking to Myself, author, Rochelle Melander, talks about “crossing the road” of self-doubt to writing several books.
I had to cross that road, too. I struggled for years with insecurities about my writing. There was no way I would get any book published, I thought.
In 2013 I wrote my first book. I reached out to publishers and received 18 rejections. I asked my husband if we could borrow money to publish the book. He agreed (he was helping me cross that road).
I published two more books. I had crossed the road from writing a book to indie-publishing three books.
Safe! I felt I could stay where I was. Nope, another road waited for my crossing. When I wrote Isasnora Snores, my husband asked if I could try the traditional publisher route. Oh, no, that's an impossible road to cross. I tried, anyways.
Black Rose Writing took on the book. Thank you, Black Rose for helping me cross another road.
Once you've crossed one road, you're not done. If you want to move forward to become a better version of yourself and to improve the world, you will need to cross many roads.
Please don't make excuses for yourself - I'm too old, too young, too skinny, too fat, too busy, too inexperienced, etc. etc. etc. Excuses are like that faulty GPS that takes you to the middle of a cemetery instead of to the wedding chapel (It has happened to me).
Use a Crossing Guard
You don't have to do it alone - most of the time.
Can you give yourself CPR?
If you answered, "Yes," then you really didn't need CPR, because you need to be unresponsive before administering CPR (I took a class).
Sometimes we really do need help. It takes humility to admit you might have a problem and a willingness to reveal a deep dark secret. There are countless resources on the Internet ranging from how to apologize to fixing a muffler. The library also has resources. If you need to talk, seek out someone. Depending on your situation, you may need to speak to a minister or someone who works with mental health issues. NAMI might be a good resource.
In our community we have a 211 number for mental health, domestic abuse, or homeless issues.
It might not be an earth-shattering problem but it has been niggling in the back of your mind. I want to start a garbage company (Strange, isn't it? Don't worry, some day I'll tell you why). It's been on my mind for over a year. Finally, I committed to reading something about garbage at least three-times a week.
Often, just doing the research is crossing one road.
Take a Deep Breath
Unless you're fleeing a burning building or you have only one day to live, take baby steps. Often we look at the road and it's daunting like a monster looming to destroy us. I made lots of excuses NOT to write a book because it seemed so BIG! Then I was inspired by Venerable Fulton Sheen. Long story, but after his inspiration, I started writing only 30 minutes a week. Even if it was 11:30 on a Saturday night, I found a notebook and wrote. It didn't matter what I spilled on the paper, I was writing. I now write full-time. It's my job.
Are you trying to add more movement into your life? You don't need to run a marathon. Maybe parking father away is where you'll start. Are you trying to eat healthier? Just change one thing at a time - don't go on a full-blown diet (I'm writing a book about this). How about that phone call to a brother or sister who hasn't talked to you for a long time? Start with a card. Granted, they might return it or rip it up, but you are slowly crossing that road.
Staying on the curb while an opportunity waits on the other side can often result in regret. No flimsy excuses will remove the bitterness.
You might think that since I'm writing this blog, I have it all figured out. Nope. I have quite a few roads to cross. One of them is selling my screenplays to movie production companies. My excuses range from: They're not good enough, I live in Wisconsin not Hollywood, I don't really know how to sell my screenplay, I should just write the scripts into books, I stutter when I'm nervous, The companies won't be interested in my work.
I've taken lots of screenwriting classes. I've had some success in screenwriting competitions. Frankly, however, I'm terrified of pitching.
Tomorrow (my birthday), I'm going to give myself a gift. I've been invited by ScreenwritingU to a pitching practice session. What that means is we'll practice pitching our movies and ideas to producers. I don't have a pitch ready, but I'll go and listen to the others and learn, then next month have a pitch. It's a tiny step. Who knows, some day you might be reading about my latest movie endeavors.
Why did the chicken cross the road?
To get therapy.
To seek forgiveness.
To start a new career.
To finish homework.
To stop bad behaviors.
Fill in the blanks - Why are you going to cross the road and when?
Thank you for reading.
Please go to Talking to Myself to meet author, Rochelle Melander.