Aug 28, 2012

driving through puddles and facing fears

Apparently my city has decided that it wants to try and be a runner-up to Atlantis today, which has made for delightful driving. (note: please read previous sentence with a hint of sarcasm in your voice)

Water + Cars + Myself = not a good portfolio of experiences. I was spooked at the tender age of eighteen. It was a fateful Easter Sunday, when all the heavens broke open and decided to land on the ground all at once. I stalled my Volvo in a puddle that came up to my knees. I then ruined my Easter skirt climbing out of the car into said puddle to push it out. It never ran quite the same again.

Though I am seven years older, I still drive a (different) Volvo. This Volvo also hates the rain, but sometimes I have absolutely no choice but to drive it. Today I had to make a 30 minute trek through streets that literally have people kayaking through them, the entire time I was more than a little tense about stalling out/getting into a puddle that was too deep for my car to handle. My breath would suck in like a vacuum every time I skated through. Heart beating like a taiko drum.

But if I wanted to get home, I had to face my fear.

Fear can be a really powerful thing if you let it. I find that in art, there is always going to be fear. Especially if you're creating something that's of worth. The better the thing you're creating, the higher the fear. Over and over and over again I have to face the fear of: Will this be good enough? Will this pay off? Will this even work? For every book, every draft, every chapter, every sentence, every word.

Fear will always be there. One of my favorite and generalized quotes is, "Courage is not the absence of fear but the will to rise above it." (Or something like that). You can't really make fear go away. But you can ignore it. You can choose to act anyway. You can drive your car through that puddle. You can take your manuscript in that direction. And you probably should, because if you don't, you'll be stranded and the fear wins.

So I faced my fear and drove.

I got home.

It's also of notable mention that the house I'm currently inhabiting is backed up to an old rice field/marsh, which means that the entire back yard is now a small sea:

I've been keeping an eye out for alligators.

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