Have you ever experienced that feeling where you finally got an opportunity to do something you think you wanted to do, but now that you have the opportunity to do that thing, you're actually super apprehensive about it?
The first time I experienced that feeling, it was caused by having the opportunity to order steak & eggs for breakfast. As a child, I was a huge fan of cartoon TV show Hey Arnold, and one particular episode featured characters on the show eating steak & eggs. For whatever reason, this struck me as really cool; I liked steak, and I liked eggs, so why not have them together? I would frequently mention to members of my family that I wanted to try the combination, but I was never in the position to do so.
Until one morning, when our family went out to breakfast at a restaurant that, coincidentally, had steak & eggs on the menu. It was my moment to finally try that odd-but-intriguing combination of foods... and I couldn't go through with it. Whether because of the anticipation of (loving and good-natured) teasing from those assembled, a fear of judgment from the (very sweet and motherly) waitress, or a sudden second-guessing of how good it might actually taste, I opted not to order the dish, and ended months' worth of posturing forever.
Now, here I am again, with the opportunity to do something I thought I wanted to do, but once again, I'm terrified.
I discovered Slate Star Codex by chance just a few months ago, and even more recently made my way to the old Less Wrong after the incredible Mr. Alexander mentioned the Sequences. I've been working through them slowly, and while I'm not sure they'll be quite as life-changing as I've seen some profess them to be, there are some cool ideas there, and my mind appreciates the brain food.
I've often felt like I have something to say, but a combination of severe (but finally being treated!) ADD and crippling fear of being ignored or disliked usually keep me from doing more than writing a short Reddit comment once every couple of weeks. But something about the way Mr. Alexander writes makes me feel like maybe it would be okay if I tried. I can't really put my finger on it, but perhaps it's because his site is populated by so many people who are pleasant and respectful that I can feel hopeful that I would receive the same treatment in a place like this.
So I'm going to give this a try, just for me. "They" always say that you should do things for yourself, not for other people, so I guess that's what I'll do. I've had the idea of writing a reflection or response of sorts after reading each essay in the Sequences, to sort of mull it over and see how it fits into my brain. I had the silly idea of calling them Glide Meditations, because it's a reflection on a sequence. Yeah, I know the analogy is really inexact, but I'm not good at constructing analogies anyway, and the name makes me grin to myself, so why not?
Starting tomorrow, I'm going to try and write at least one Glide Meditation each day, just for myself, just to see if I can do it. And if people want to read it, great. And if they like it, even better. But I can't think about them just yet. I need to prove to myself that I can sit down and write something regularly, in a place where other people can see. That's it. Worrying about what they think can come later.
So anyway, I guess if you're reading this, you've inadvertently witnessed the start of something both scary and exciting for me, and maybe you'll decide come along.