Daily Post Writing Prompt: Sidewalk
The word sidewalk takes me back to last year – the year I stepped out of my comfort zone and did something that terrified me.
I remember pulling into the parking lot and finding a spot close to the stairs that lead to a beautiful tree-lined sidewalk. I unclenched my sweaty hands from the steering wheel and forced myself to exit the car. I climbed the stairs and stood at the beginning of the concrete path. I knew the sidewalk would take me into a building that held the local theater company but I also knew the metaphoric path would take me some place too.
I was to audition for a part in the annual Christmas play and I remember vividly standing on the sidewalk and fighting a fierce battle with my fear. I have worked back stage and have made a few good friends; they and my family had talked me into auditioning. Did they see something I didn’t”?
A young girl of six or seven skipped past me and up the sidewalk, following close behind was an older gentleman, her father perhaps. She turned towards the man and exclaimed, “I am so nervous!” and her pigtail flapped with her bobbing head. The man offered her words of encouragement, they joined hands and continued up the path. I felt my inner child stir.
My inner child yearned to enjoy life. I wanted to try new things and to quit sitting on the sidelines (or staying backstage). Yet to be child-like at forty-eight is not an attractive sight. A six-year-old trying something new is cute, but I would look like a fool. The fear of appearing foolish eclipse my desire for a part in the play.
My inner child must have sensed fear was winning the battle, because I had a sudden urge to skip along the path like the six-year old. I wanted to throw caution to the wind and to take a risk – I wanted the experience.
I didn’t skip, but I squared my shoulders and lifted my chin and marched down that sidewalk, into the building and I auditioned. I did feel foolish and so ashamed that I cried all the way home afterwards. I was rewarded a small part and I rehearsed for weeks. I had the time of my life. When the curtain open for the first show, I was ready for it and I was as giddy as my six-year old co-actor.
I think of this day whenever I want to try something new. If I could perform on stage I could lead a bible study or sing in the church choir. I will use the memory for my future experiences.
Sidewalks are to take us some place – both literally and metaphorically.