Take last week, for instance.
I was having a bad sci-fi writing day. A few comments were made about my middle grade science fiction book Jump Boys (coming soon! woot!) that just . . . felt like a kick in the gut, ya know? I'm sure I'll talk more about this on Wednesday's IWSG post, but for now, the point is, I had a STNG movie marathon to help me out of the doldrums and learned another little gem of wisdom from old Captain Kirk himself.
It happens somewhere in the middle of this spliced-together scene (see below), where Kirk has ridden off to meet with the love of his life and make all the right choices this time--namely, give up space exploration in favor of a quiet life with the woman he loves.
Picard catches up with him to find Kirk beside a ravine, looking perplexed. And then this bit of wisdom appears (also spliced):
Kirk: "I must have made this jump fifty times, and every time it scared the hell out of me. But not this time." (pause) "Because . . . it's not real."
"It's kinda like . . . orbital skydiving. Exciting for a few minutes, but in the end, you haven't really done anything. You haven't made a difference."
And so it occurred to me while I watched this scene, that that's what it means to live. To really live. Life is messy. It's scary. There's risk in every emotionally charged event. People will hate your work (or love it), you'll get hurt (or you won't), you'll lose (or you'll win).
In every single choice, there is fear.
There is risk.
But if you play it safe, forever sticking with what you know--well, sure, life will be predictable. But will you live? Will you love? Will you win?
And then there's #349. Be like Kirk here, look fear in the face and take the challenge.
As for me, I want to face my fears, stick a smile on my face and say, "Sounds like fun!"