Opportunity and Fear

One of the side-effects of learning to declare myself a writer is that people believe that I am capable of writing things. I have people offer me suggestions and ask me to write things for them. Not often, but certainly more often than I did when I told people I was a teacher.

I understand that these suggestions and requests come from a place of honor and respect. The people in my life are saying “I believe you” and “I trust you”. As someone who holds being reliable as one of my strongest toward values, this means A LOT.

Because of this, it’s hard for me to watch a face full of eager excitement fall a little as I internally scramble to get as far away from their offering of trust. No matter how interested I strive to appear externally, they can always tell that just want to run away, and they don’t know why.

The truth is I can barely get myself to focus on the ideas I have come up with on my own and feel extremely passionate about. Some days it takes all the grit I have in me to maintain eye contact with the dreams I’ve dreamed for 30+ years. The writer in me is a tiny ground squirrel newly released from the nest–easily startled and pretty sure it’s going to be eaten.

But the other, more difficult truth, is that unless that tiny ground squirrel is willing to take tiny, tremulous steps away from the safety of the underbrush and venture out into the world, she’s never going to grow.

So, I truly hope that the people who believe in me and trust me with their words see the longer lasting determination behind the immediate fear in my eyes. Although I may not have the courage or strength to gather every acorn that falls in front of me, I’m trying. I’m reaching a little further out of my comfort zone each time.


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