FEAR. I don’t know about you, but fear has played a part in more decisions I have made throughout my life, than I would actually like to admit! I’m thinking that I must be going through a mid-life kind of crisis thing because suddenly, I’m not as afraid as I used to be. Okay, friends will tell you that I’ve always seen the glass as half full. Life has been pretty good. I’m still married after twenty-two years, have 3 great kids, a dog, a cat, a place to call home. But the fact is that after many years of doing everything for everyone else (often much unappreciated) and wanting everyone to like me (not possible), I began lose sight of who I really was and made a very scary decision that no longer would fear dictate my choices in life.
About 8 years or so, my business partner and I came up with an idea for an organizer (eventually, the Decorating Assistant). Over the course of a few years I took a class on patents at our local library, did some sketches, and day dreamed about bringing our idea to market. It became a passion and an obsession. But I was afraid. My husband didn’t believe in the idea. I didn’t know anyone who had ever invented anything before. And let’s be honest – I could fail.
Enter Mark Twain. He wrote; “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” After reading that quote, one night, I woke up and thought “What if I’m sixty years old and have never followed my dream because I was afraid?” I made the decision to act inspite of fear. From that night on, I have actively pursued my dream.
Faith is what I rely on. Following my dream has been a mix of endless blessings, really difficult times, tears, and prayer. But, I can honestly say that at times when we thought we would fail, I have never ever regretted following my dream. I have become stronger, wiser, and a better person. I know that any struggle I have had has been to prepare me for a bigger battle. I know that my children will learn from me to follow their dreams. I know that the few true friends I have are worth so much more than all the others I used to try to please combined.
It’s really an amazing journey. The kids have survived and can actually do laundry now. The husband is mostly on the bandwagon, and I know that Mark Twain was a truly wise man. If I have any words of wisdom to share from this, it is that if you let fear rule your life you will be looking back years from now and asking yourself “what If…” instead of “what’s next”. I choose what’s next!