Friday, January 17, 2014

Taking Chances

When I was little, I really liked watching “The Magic School Bus.”  Something about their zany adventures adding with science was just the right mixture for me.  And there was always Miss Frizzle’s catch phrase:

Photo created by me

Now that should be my theme for 2014. 

I’m a normally cautious person.  I like to examine every option, and usually, my most common decision is to take the safe route.  In high school, I never went out and, I never liked going out of my comfort zone.  Safe is good, it’s not scary.

But safe never got me anywhere.  When I started applying for colleges, there were the safe ones.  The ones I knew I could get into and that I didn’t have to really worry about the applications.  There was one specific school I applied to that was a long shot.  I didn’t have a very good chance, and even if I did, it would be more difficult than going to a school near home.  Instead of moving to a different state, I’d be moving to a different country, learning a new language and a new culture.

I was terrified, but I took the chance.  When I got accepted to a university in Madrid, it took me weeks to convince myself that I wanted it.  That I was ready for it.  It took even longer to convince my parents. 
That one decision, crazy and outside of my comfort zone, was the best decision I ever made.  I found myself becoming more comfortable with myself, making friends I wouldn’t have made otherwise, and I ended up meeting my future husband.  I learned a new language, traveled to places I never thought I’d been and learned how to fend for myself.

You’d think that I’d have learned my lesson, but I still enjoy my comfort zone.  And that includes within writing.  Yes, I’ve slowly expanded the circle, but there’s still stuff that terrifies me.

This month, I finally did something that I never thought I’d be able to do.  I started sending out queries.  Now, that is terrifying.  And yet, I feel like it’s a step in the right direction.  I took a chance.  Was it a mistake?  Possibly, but it’s the only way that I can become a better writing and move past the fear that I have.

So that’s my new theme for this year.  I’m going to “take chances, make mistakes and get messy.”