Not Brave Enough

1990. That’s the year Home Alone came out.

Why am I awake, thinking about Home Alone at 5 AM on a Monday? Apparently, your brain makes funny connections when your seven-year-old daughter wakes you up to get her sound machine and stuffed dinosaur from the basement at 4 in the morning. (She had slept downstairs with her cousin the night before.)

Scared of the basement…Learn where the light switches are, kid…Although, Kevin McCallister was 8, and he was scared of the basement, and look at what he accomplished. Man, what an awesome movie. When did it come out…1990? Holy crap, Ellery is exactly the same age that I was when Home Alone came out…And that was…29 years ago…

And just like that, I’m wide awake and pondering my own mortality. And suddenly realizing that in about a third of the time that has elapsed between the release of Home Alone (which, let’s be honest, feels like yesterday) and the present, my oldest child will be packing her bags to go to college. And it’s the exact amount of time that I have been out of college. And I’ve spent every one of those years working for someone else. While dreaming about doing something else.

And that is why I’m self-employed.

Will I fail? That’s a definite possibility. One that I am prepared to accept. But life is short. A few people in the last week have congratulated me on having the courage to chase my dreams. I really don’t think that’s necessary. My family isn’t going to starve. If things go badly, it might mean taco night includes more rice and beans and less beef. We might have to put off buying new cars for a few years. The worst-case scenario is that I have to go back to being an employee. Is it really all that scary? I’ve already done it for a decade. What scares me is the thought that I might look back at my life and realize that I never tried. I don’t think I’m brave enough to take that risk.

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