Dreaming and fear

Last Sunday I talked about courage, and I had a couple of really great responses (thank you SO MUCH for responding!) Littlewonder2 said, “(I) didn’t even let people read my writing in the past, or tell them about it, so I’ve already improved”.  Yes Littlewonder2 – you have DEFINITELY improved!!!  J  One of my FB friends sent me a private message, and strongly encouraged me to follow my dreams.  She told me of the things that she had learned from me, and the things that she had witnessed my teaching to my sixth graders that went far beyond the “traditional three Rs”.  I REALLY appreciated what she said, because sometimes (at least for me) it’s hard to give myself permission to go for what I want.  Do you ever have that problem?

I grew up poor – there were times when my mother had to take commodity food just to have something for us to eat, and as a teacher I don’t make a lot of money now.  Every time I read about a teacher who makes $50,000 – $75,000 a year, I always think ‘What state do THEY work in?!?!?!’ (Obviously NOT where I live!)  The thought of not having that paycheck coming in every two weeks is frightening, but there are times when I think my current job is killing my soul.  Which is NOT a position I want to be in!

There’s a book I read this past week, it’s called “The Dip.  A Little Book That Teaches You When To Quit (And When To Stick)”, by the Seth Goodin.  Now it’s a little book (80 pages), and since it came out in 2007 I bought it off of Ebay.  Yes, I was looking for the cheapest price!  LOL  In a nutshell, this is a book that says there are three types of “curves” that we go through in everything during our lives.  They are:  the “dip”, the “cliff”, and the “cul-de-sac”.  Both the cliff and the cul-de-sac are dead-ends, and we need to quit them when we are able to recognize them.  The “Dip” is that lull – you know, the time after beginning to learn something new (so much fun!), but before you’ve actually mastered that thing.  According to Seth Goodin, the dip is when we need to continue on, to NOT quit, but to push on through.

After pondering the messages of the writer, and looking at my own life, I decided to go ahead and spend the money (which was SO HARD to do) to take a copywriting class.  I’ll be learning a new skill that involves writing – which I love – and might help me to come to the point where I have enough income to quit my “cul-de-sac” and, as Robert Frost says, “…take the road less traveled…”

What about you?  Are you looking to make any changes in your own life, to begin the process of following your dreams (whatever they may be)?  I would love to hear about them!  Have a wonderful Sunday.


Courage…..if you don’t have it, can you build it?

I follow a couple of different blogs that are geared to writers, and something interesting occurred within one day of each other back in March. Rachelle Gardner (an editor) posted an entry talking about having a “thick skin” in the writing/publishing world, and Kristen Lamb talked about courage in her post “Voice – The Key to Literary Magic part I”. What I took from both posts (which arrived in my inbox literally within one day of each other) is that one needs to have courage.
Now, I don’t think I have a lot of courage. Kristen refers to the movie, “Midnight in Paris” (which I haven’t seen, but it is in my queue on Netflix and I will get it this week), and how the main character, Gil, lacks courage. In Kristen’s short summary of the movie, I can identify with Gil – I too yearn to leave my life as a teacher and become a “real” writer (although I don’t make the $$$ Gil is making as a screenwriter – curse the luck! LOL). So why don’t I? A lack of courage, a lack of finances, a lack of believing in myself – these are the reasons why. You see, I don’t have a fiancée snipping at me and my dream. I’m perfectly capable (and able, and do) of snipping myself! But I’m working on stopping that damn inner voice!
Rachel’s blog post also hit home with me. I too have a fragile heart – although the vast majority of people who know me would never think my heart is fragile. I’ve learned to become a master at hiding it, and portray myself as not caring one way or the other about what others say or do to me. Oh….how I wish this was in fact the truth! It’s not, so as Rachel points out in her blog – you learn to survive.
This is what I’m learning to do. Survive having the man I was falling in love with fall in love with another woman. Survive having people who I thought were friends saying they would read my writing and give me feedback, but they didn’t. Survive the uncertainty at work – going in day after day, never knowing if that day was the day I would be fired for something I didn’t do, and had no knowledge of. Basically, surviving life in general!
So maybe this is what courage really is. Learning from past experiences, surviving the pain (and joy) that comes from living life, and waking up each morning willing to try again. I may never develop “thick skin” and I may never have the courage to throw caution to the wind, quit my day job, and spend one year doing nothing but writing. I think courage is an individual thing, and something that we can help to grow (however small the growth may be) over the course of our lives.

So what about you? Are you willing to wake up each morning, and try again? Are you willing to work towards accomplishing a goal, no matter how small the steps you take may be?

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