I learned a hard lesson yesterday: Always be prepared for a TV news crew! You just never know when a reporter will stop you in the mall to ask you about your back-to-school shopping on the day before school starts. The reporter who asked me about my shopping adventures was young and sweet. I felt old and tired and clumsy answering her questions. I was guarded when she asked about cost and time because I might have to reveal how many kids I actually have. The fact that I have 7 kids makes me stick out like a sore thumb and on this day, I was really trying to blend in. Additionally, I didn’t really want people to know how much I had spent on getting my kids ready for school or how many crazy trips we’d made to stores, always forgetting something and having to go back! . But, the questions-and the data in my answers-begged an explanation. So, reluctantly, I revealed my secret. “We have lots of kids. 7 kids.” I felt awkward and unprepared and strangely vulnerable.
Plus, I didn’t have any make up on.
And, I’d put off tweezing my eyebrows.
I would have done so much more to prepare to be on TV.
It’s ok, I told myself. Only my grandparents will see me on the local news. Yeah, I was wrong about that. Soon my Facebook feed was aglow with comments and messages about my short-lived fame. I didn’t have the courage to watch it. Because, no make-up. I called it a boring, awkward interview. Funny thing, no one else did.
The reality is you can’t always be prepared for a TV news crew.
In the same way, you can’t always be prepared for opportunities, dreams, creative inspiration or the many ways life calls us out of our comfort zones. Sometimes you just have to let these things take your hand and lead you onward. Make-up-less, un-tweezed, vulnerable. Otherwise you’ll spend your whole life staring at yourself in the mirror, hiding in a corner, avoiding the TV news crew, trying to blend in.
Some of my favourite hiding places have included: my kitchen (because I can stay there undetected by people outside my house), my small northern town (this one makes for great excuses about why I can’t do this or that), my insecurities (we’ve been together all my life), my past failures and current fears. In their own way, each of these hiding places made me feel sheltered, less vulnerable, safely hidden. The truth is they were keeping me small, stifled, stagnant and a part of me was suffocating there.
The real lesson I learned yesterday was that, when the news crew asks for an interview and you feel your heart start to pound, it’s a sign. No, it’s an invitation. To come out of hiding. To do the interview. To leave the comfort of your kitchen and the comfort of all your comfort zones for that matter. No one benefits from your hiding, least of all you.
You can do it. I just did when I hit “publish” on this post (and I didn’t realize it then but that’s what I was doing when I agreed to that interview).
Let’s come out of hiding, shall we?
I’d love to hear your stories of coming out of hiding in the comments!
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/44538772@N00/300631598″>If you are never scared, embarrassed or hurt, it means you never take
chances</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>