I sat staring at a blank page of paper on and off for days, trying to decide what to pen as my resolution for 2015. I needed it to be precise and concise and confine my fantastic plans to few words.
Full of nothing and in need of inspiration, I called on a Ninja. Jen said yes – Ninjas are like that – and we met for supper.
“I’m stuck,” I said, one hand hovering over the bowl of corn chips, the other gesturing wildly at the universe. “I have so much to finish and I don’t know where to start. Super stuck. I can’t even write my stupid New Year’s Resolution.”
“Draw a dragon.” Jen nodded at me with wisdom and surety.
“Every time Jonah asks me what he should draw, I say ‘Draw a dragon.’ And then he says ‘No, I can’t draw a dragon, I don’t know where to start or what it will finish like.’”
Jonah is Jen’s kid. He’s an excellent example of 10-year-old boy. He likes treasure and zombies. And he likes to draw. Once he drew me a Fridge Ninja. It’s on my fridge.
“Finally I told him, ‘Just start. Just start drawing dragons and by the time you finish, you’ll know how to draw dragons. Then you can draw dragons anytime you like. Like right now. Because your mamma wants a dragon. Draw me a dragon.’ And he did.”
“How was it?” I asked, enraptured.
“Perfect.” She answered. “And now we both know that he can draw dragons. Or anything else. All he has to do is be brave enough to finish what he starts.
“It’s the same for you, you know,” Jen nodded – Ninjas know – and went on. “Since you’ve got that book started, you should finish it. It’s the most graspable low-hanging fruit.”
“I know. I know. Finish the book. Finish the book.” I nodded, gut-sick, realizing I’m ripping everyone off, the folks who’ve been waiting, the friends who supported me, the Ninjas.
“Look,” Jen said, “I get it. You’re scared. But I think back to hearing you deliver one of you own personally branded talks. What did I take away? The message was overall an engagement message, of not sitting back and waiting and swimming in doubt or fear or feelings, but engaging in life, setting that as a task for oneself. I know you personally struggled with isolation after the breakup of your marriage and those hard financial times. I heard you say a number of times that you would get under the table and cry. And finally you decided to get up and get dressed and go out and be in the world.”
“And I got Ninjas.” I nodded.
“I read your Transformation Tuesday blogs last year.” Jen said. “Those worked for me, I’d open one up and read it and it would help me get up and get in the shower and go out and engage. Your stories about goals you had set for yourself and how you were achieving them were inspiring, and helped me get up and go for it.”
“I should finish what I started.”
“Draw the dragon, Deena. Finish the book. You’re not working on it because you’re afraid of doing it wrong. But all your most recent blogging is about engaging in fear and not turning away from what terrifies you. Not hiding under the table, but going out and getting it. The message applies to people of all ages. My kid has the same kind of fear that you have, and he’s 10. You just need to keep going and getting it.”
Later that night, I wrote my resolution. It took a couple of drafts, but I got it:
Be brave, and finish what I started.