I LOVED reading everyone’s school experiences yesterday:-) I did, however, find it interesting that no one mentioned the cool phenomenon that is Kindergarten.
You see, my middle child, Lacy starts Kindergarten this week.
And, unlike my eldest who was ready to boot me out the door when she got to her class, my Lacy is afraid. I mean, REALLY afraid. She comes to me crying out of the blue with her little lip quivering, “But Mommy, I don’t want to go to Kindergarten.”
I asked her several times why not, and the only response I’ve been able to hug out of her was, “I don’t know if it will be fun.”
We all know, since we’ve experienced it, that Kindergarten CAN be fun. Good grief, you color, have recess, have story time, play time at centers. Kindergarten RULES.
But explaining this to a petrified five-year-old isn’t easy. She’s even had the benefit of seeing her sister go to school in year’s past and loving it.
So, I ask myself, why? My daughter isn’t overly “clingy” so I don’t think it’s attachment issues. I really think it’s the fear of the unknown. We can tell her till we’re blue in the face about how wonderful school will be, but until she is able to experience it for herself, there is still that doubt, that fear, that “Will I be good enough?” question that eeks into her brain.
**Bringing it back to writing**
Isn’t writing like that sometimes? To go with the theme of conferences, this can SO be true for newbies, or even unpubs going their second year (points large arrow over own head.) What if the agent/editors hate me? What if no one wants to be my friend? What if I go and it totally bombs? What if I learn nothing and I waste all that money? What if… what if… what if?
Even in sending off a query to an agent, what if they hate it? It’s an unknown, and it’s pretty freaky at times.
The what if’s can be debilitating.
But I’m trying to teach my daughter, and myself, that God is Lord over all our what-if’s. Even though I don’t know, He does. I have peace about it when I pray, when I give the circumstance and the outcome over to God and let him hold it in his capable hands. If a pitch goes horribly wrong, well, God already knew it would happen. And he knows what’s best for us, so I’m cool with that (even though it does sting…) When you get a rejection letter, it’s a big gulp, but God knew that wasn’t the right person. Tis okay.
And I dare say reality is almost NEVER worse than my fears. Which is good, cause my fears and imagination can run crazy (picture Krista dreaming of agent throwing proposal on floor and grinding it into shreds, telling her how horrible it was… see, it’s NEVER THAT bad!)
Discussion: What are your fears, your what-if’s?
Anytime I am faced with a major problem (losing a job for example), I think "What is the worst that can happen?" If I am okay with the worst that can happen, and I've prayed to God about it, I'm pretty good about getting rid of the worry.
So, if I'm faced with losing my job, the worst that can happen is my family and I are very tight or broke, but probably only short-term. In other words, we would be fine.
That line of thinking has taken me like 35 years to get to.
So true, Krista. We're all faced with those big scary "firsts." And if we let fear stop us as writers, then we won't make it very far. In this current tight marketplace, timidity is a sure way to keep us out. We have to be bold, do the unexpected, and grit our teeth and persevere! (I'm preaching to myself!)
I'm pretty full of what ifs….but I do my best to ignore them 🙂
My husband often tells me "I run down the path" with my what-ifs. You name it, I've probably gone there.
I don't think I'm as afraid of the unknown as I am disappointing God.
I think the analogy of kindergarten and writer's conferences is perfect!
You get to hang out with friends, new and old, and play in the workshops, and there's the fabulous mealtimes, and lots of noise and laughter and fun.
My first conference experience…it was like the first day at a new school. I didn't know a soul, and I was afraid I'd brought all the wrong clothes (which I did, but only because February in Florida turned out to be hotter than I thought it would be) and I was nervous that I wouldn't be able to keep up in the classes.
Turns out it was a fabo conference, I made a lifelong friend there, got my first request for a full ms, and sat in the BEST workshop I've ever been in. (Taught by the totally cool and amazing Angela Hunt.)
Here's to writing, to conferences, and to kindergarten!
Like Heather said, take the "what if" to the worst-case scenerio.
What if nobody likes me? Well, God loves me.
What if I babble off topic during an agent appointment? Well, I'm not the first. And it's material for a scene in a future book.
Once I KNOW that I'll still be okay, I have confidence to take the risk.
BTW, my baby started kindergarten yesterday. He said "See ya!" and I teared up on the way back home.
What if I can't write the SECOND book?
You are so right about those 'what-if's' being debilitating! What a fabulous post … your words are a great reminder to hand the worries over and get on with things! 🙂
Well that was a bummer. I just had this nice long comment and it didn't post…so, I'm just going to have to say, that I made a list of What If's that cannot be recreated. Great post, Krista! 🙂
Hi Krista –
I never went to Kindergarten, but first grade was a bear. I cried the whole year.
Thankfully, I can trust in God's unchanging love. He helps me through the ups and downs of life.
It feels SO good to know that I'm not the only "what-if"er!
You all had some GREAT input and suggestions for handling this syndrome… and I'm happy to report that Lacy's first day when GREAT!
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