Monday, January 26, 2009

Out of Africa

There used to be a zebra in a field close to where I grew up. I don't know why, but the people who owned the land had somehow purchased a zebra and they kept it out in their pasture. They didn't have any other animals in the pasture. Just the zebra.
I used to pass by that field everyday on the school bus, and while everyone else thought seeing a zebra in a pasture in Alabama was funny, it made me a bit sad. It was all alone, and it was out of place. I guess I kind of related to that poor zebra. I was lonely in my youth, and I often felt as if I were completely out of place. As if I were born to be somewhere else, something else.
I still find myself struggling to define, well, myself. What is it that I do? What is my purpose? I'm no longer alone, but I still feel a bit out of place at times. I am very happy with my life, but I still feel as if I'm not living up to my full potential. I've always been terrified of failure, and I sometimes wonder if that fear has dictated some of my choices. In college I chose to study music because music was my "thing." It was easy for me. I know I would never really be brain surgeon material, but what could I do if I stepped away from what was easy and took a chance? What if I dared to risk failing? I've done it before.
I took a huge chance when it came to finding love. I risked heartbreak and rejection in my pursuit of the man who is now my wonderful husband. He could have said no. He didn't, and the feeling of triumph was unbelievable. My risk paid off. I think a risk like that is almost always worth it. Even if you fail, at least you've learned something.

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