Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What have you got to lose?

I've wanted to be a writer for as long as I can remember.

I was born in Chicago. When I was about six years old, my father was transferred to St. Louis. We used to go back to Chicago a few times a year, and sometimes made it downtown for a day. Each time, I’d stand in front of the Chicago Tribune building on N. Michigan Avenue and look up, up, up. I'd imagine myself rushing inside, high-heels clicking, briefcase swinging in my left hand (no laptops even in my dreams back then).

In the fourth grade I joined the girl scouts, and at the end of that year, our troop leader presented each of us girls with a notebook, covered in yellow fabric with white daises. She'd cross-stitched our names front and center. I wrote my first short story within those pages (and yes, I still have that notebook, what a trip!)

As a senior in high school, I applied to Mizzou, dreaming of Journalism school. I got in without a problem, but changed my mind at the last minute, and didn't go. Fear held me back. What if I was no good? What if I couldn't do it? What if, what if...

Fear held me back from my dreams, until I was old enough to realize that I had no reason to be afraid. Until a confidence that sometimes only comes with age outweighed the fear. What did you dream of when you were 5? Or 18? Or yesterday, for that matter? Don’t let fear hold you back. What have you got to lose?

1 comment:

  1. I too was born in Chicago and stayed there for six whole days. I had something published in the Tribune once. I am amazed at how fear and ignorance soemtimes go hand in hand. Let nothing stop you now.