There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anaïs Nin

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Baby Steps

      I love to read. It’s my favorite pastime. Since I was a little girl, I could easily lose myself in a book, completely forgetting my own reality while I was swept away in the story of someone else’s life.  It wasn’t until a few years ago that I also learned I love to write.

      My son, Erik, is a cancer survivor.  While going through treatment, we spent many hours in the hospital. It was then that I started my first journal and I have been writing ever since.  My goal is to one day write a book. I have never taken any formal classes on how to write, but I have read some books on the subject that have helped me understand what’s involved.  One of my favorite books is Stephen King’s   On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.

      I enjoyed his memoir and his lessons on writing, but I have to admit, I am terrified of Stephen King.  Or I should say, I am terrified of his books.  Up until that point, I had never read one. Eleanor Roosevelt once said that we should do one thing every day that scares us.  With that in mind, and feeling somehow obligated to Mr. King to read one of his books, (I mean he did go to all that trouble to publish a book so I could learn to write), I decided to read Misery.  And while it did scare me, I loved the book.  And I was so proud of myself for reading it.

      Shortly afterward, we took a vacation which started in Busch Gardens, Virginia.  The plan was to spend a day at the rollercoaster park.  Just the word rollercoaster scares me.  I was nervous from the day I booked the trip, because I knew my boys would pressure me to join them on these death defying rides.  When we arrived at the park, I had Eleanor Roosevelt’s words in mind when I agreed to ride one rollercoaster.  Three rollercoaster rides later, I was on top of the world. 

      Eleanor Roosevelt was right, we should challenge ourselves, every day.  Overcoming a fear is very empowering, but I don’t do it often enough. In fact, I wouldn’t even know what to do to scare myself  that often.  But I agree that forcing ourselves outside our comfort zone is the only way to grow.  The more we challenge ourselves, the braver and more confident we become. 

      My biggest fear is flying.  It’s a terrible phobia that keeps me from doing things that I want to do. I would love to see more of the world, but I cannot get myself on a plane.  I know it's time to overcome this phobia but for a fear this big I need a plan that involves baby steps.  So I thought about visiting the airport, researching my dream destinations, buying a ticket, but I’m not ready for any of that, so instead I went to the book store and bought another Stephen King novel.


  1. While I haven't always lived by that quote, I have definitely always remembered since I heard it as a teenager. I would say it to myself when I found myself faced with the unknown and it's an incredible sentiment. :) Doing things that frighten us (within reason of course:) is as you said so wonderful for our growth!

    Loved this post and as always enjoy your writing. My brother keeps recommending that Stephen King book on writing to me...maybe I'll have to try to find it.:)

  2. I am so thankful that your son survived cancer. How hard that must have been for all of you to go through that, and of course for him to be such a fighter is just awesome.

    I too, would love to write a book and yet if I am honest with you I would tell you that it is not just busyness of life but fear that keeps me from taking the steps towards it.

    I really enjoyed this post...hadn't heard that quote before either but will write it down. I think it's very cool that you did the rollercoaster thing...I love rollercoasters but can no longer ride them...I love flying and don't get to do very often...but there is plenty that I am afraid of...since I am in my year of seeking to embrace I am facing some of those's to facing fears and taking challanges! Cheers!