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.