My dad used to be a walking Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations. Really. I vividly remember him pulling out a quote when the time was appropriate (and sometimes not so appropriate). Instead of telling us something from the heart, he’d use a quote to convey his meaning. I’m not trying to be judgmental when I say that perhaps, he holds on to other people’s ideas more than he forms his own. I don’t know. Either way, one of his favorite things to say was, “He who hesitates is lost.”
Dad used that quote all the time, especially with respect to my older sister, Gina, and her basketball shot. Gina was a great basketball player who sometimes lacked the confidence to be spectacular. She’s much taller than the rest of us, so she played the position of forward (I played point guard). Oftentimes, she’d get the ball from a teammate, turn to shoot, and then hesitate. The moment of hesitation destroyed the shot. Of course, when the ball didn’t go in, Gina would be dejected. Now, as far as I remember, this didn’t happen all the time. If it had, I can guarantee she would not have seen the playing time that she did.
I think that all of us have had moments of hesitation in our lives, some of us more than others. (Okay, maybe not Tara, who seems to barrel through life like a shotgun, though I’m willing to bet even she has had a moment or two where she just wanted to think things through a little better.) But I’d like to think that as time goes by, as I begin to get older and wiser, that my moments of hesitation will become fewer and fewer. I’d like to think that I’ll grasp the opportunity when it presents itself, have the confidence to see it through, and be content with my decision.
I hesitated long enough on so many levels: I hesitated to walk down the writing pathway, to acknowledge that some other interest existed for me, to hire someone to put together a website, to go after my dream. Why? Fear? Uncertainty? Apathy? Too much inertia? I don’t think any of those actually answer the question. So I don’t know about you, but I’m done with hesitating.