This past week, my nephew took his first solo steps. They were shaky. His toes pointed out. He stuck his little hands out in a jazz-like fashion for balance. In spite of all this adorable awkwardness he stumbled forward catching himself with each step again and again until eventually gravity won.
In a split second he went from the apex of accomplishment to his hands and knees.
My past week was not nearly as monumental. I didn’t develop a new gross motor skill, but I did take some steps. They weren’t my first. Some were figurative. Some were literal. None (sadly) involved jazz hands. They weren’t perfect, but so far I think they’re doing their job. That job—simply contributing to progress.
There are plenty of potential stumbles in the future. Most of them currently live rent-free in my head, those quiet but constant, nagging self doubts. Although, I’m getting better at ignoring them. Some of them come via well-meaning external forces that try to shield while bringing with them the world’s worries.
There are certainly more, potential pitfalls are only limited by the depths of our darkest fears. We are far too capable of bringing ourselves to our hands and knees without any help from gravity.
After plummeting back to earth, my nephew had an all too familiar stunned expression pass over his tiny, little face. What unforeseen force had brought him down from his place on top of the mountain? It was gone as quickly as it appeared, pulled back by my sister-in-law’s enthusiastic cheering and the simple instinct to keep moving forward one step after another.
You can’t always hear the people cheering you on, and sometimes it’s only you. The future can sometimes feel overwhelming especially when you’ve just tumbled back to earth. Thankfully, no matter the pitfall the task ahead is the same—a single step, and then another. They may be awkward. They may be shaky. But they’ll get you where you need to go.
Be Kind. Be Brave. Stay Awkward.