Since you’re here, you know I’ve been doing some writing. I started my blog back in May because the stories I had about my children were too good not to share with family and friends. Also, if I didn’t write about them, I’d likely cry about them, and it is well known that I was on my way to losing my mind completely while in the company of two such raucous characters as Harrison and Ella.
What you might not know is that I’ve decided to go a little further with my writing. I can’t say in which direction, because I do not quite know. However, I have dabbled in a few writing contests, joined a few blog shares, and even started writing a book. All of these things are incredibly hard for me to keep up with due to time constraints, however, I am discovering in myself a new and glorious aspect. I can take risks.
I do not like taking risks. I could never be a salesperson, wondering from day to day if I’d make a livable salary based on my charm and persuasion abilities. I cringe at buying lottery tickets; Justin does it all the time, however, I find it to be a senseless waste. I cannot tell you how many times in my life I have skipped over an opportunity because I didn’t like the risk involved.
There was one time in high school when I was approached by the gym teacher to be a counselor at his summer camp. Several of my friends were going, or had been in the past, and it was a guaranteed good time. But one thing stood in my way: the morning swim. It would take place at 5 a.m., if I recall, in the freezing cold lake water. And because of this risk, this apparent discomfort that I would face first thing every morning, I passed up the opportunity to work at camp. This job would have been perfect for me: a summer away from home with my friends, an opportunity to work with younger kids, and inevitably the luscious drama and social entertainment that would come from being in a co-ed overnight camp with my peers all summer.
It never dawned on me that I might grow to like the morning swim; that the water might be refreshing and invigorating. My mind was too closed to even accept these possibilities. Although I was reminded that it was the smallest part of the day, and there would be so many more opportunities to outweigh this one small dislike of mine, I still refused. I didn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t take that plunge.
As if to remind me of the opportunity I missed, the gym teacher kept me on the camp mailing list until last year. I had literally been receiving information about camp reunions and holiday parties for thirteen years even though I had never actually gone to work there. I believe Mr. Sherman was so sure I was going to go, that he put me on that mailing list the minute he proposed the idea to me. It never occurred to either of us to take me off the list, until I sent him a nice message thanking him for the notifications but reminding him that I never actually did accept the offer.
Call me a sucker, but I do believe in fate and I do believe in messages. Perhaps I needed a message from the past to remind me of what I had missed back when I was a teenager. Possibly this would encourage me to take bigger risks. Ones that don’t necessarily involve jumping into a cold lake (which I still do not do), but rather jumping into a pool of writers. Here I am, baring myself as though I were in a skimpy bathing suit, showing you all my stuff. Not everything I write is great. Not everything I write is shared. But here I am writing, taking risks, and feeling ok about it. I can do that now because I’m not so scared as I was when I was a teenager, and also because you’ve encouraged me. Thank you for being here. Thank you for reading. Thank you for sharing. You are what is keeping me afloat.
(photo courtesy of Justin Clark, Eastport Maine 2015)