The Sandbox Writing Challenge: What’s Holding Me Back

If it’s Tuesday, it must be The Sandbox Writing Challenge, brought graciously to us by our lovely hostess, The Lady Calen of Impromptu Promptlings.

The Prompt: What’s Holding Me Back?

This week’s challenge is What is holding you back? Now you can interpret that any way you’d like. Is there something you really, really want to do but just can’t quite get up the courage? Somewhere you want to go but haven’t for some reason? You decide how to answer this question.


As far back as I can remember, it always seemed that I didn’t do things, I thought I wanted to do. I would watch people doing stuff, and I’d be sitting there scratching my head (thank you Calen for that very apropos phrase), wondering why I wasn’t out there too? The thing is, when there was something that I really wanted to do, I did it.

They were always short lived, but the point is, I did it. However, the biggest obstacle was not knowing what I wanted to do. I even found a book which was exactly about this situation: “I Could Do Anything, If I Only Knew What It Was.”

Now, that may well be my rationalization for why I’m not doing things, but I really don’t think that’s it. I want to do everything, sometimes, but most of the time I just can’t figure out what it is I want to do. I went to college, got a degree, in Occupational Therapy. What a laugh… How ironic. I’m the one helping others DO, but I can’t help myself do, because how can you do something if you don’t know what it is?

Of course, that may not be the whole story. I’ve lived with panic disorder for most of my life. That will stop someone (it did me) dead in their tracks. Except, there were times I did manage, I did do and go places in spite of the fear. I suffered through it, and exhausted myself through most of it, and often ended up not really experiencing much more than all the anxiety surrounding my doing. But I did manage to do, go, be. It seems to me it’s such a dichotomy.

That leads me to the understanding that, it is me, myself and I holding me back. Whether because I’m scared, or because I can’t think past a possible apathetic mindset. Or, there’s always, nothing’s holding me back. You know that ‘cop out’ I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. Oh wait, that should be I’m exactly where I want to be.

Here’s a thought. What if I don’t want to be anywhere? What if I don’t want to do anything?  It could happen. Then, the answer would be, nothing is holding me back. Does that sound like bullshit to you? Yeah, to me too.