Being Brave

family farm

As far as I can tell, all the responses I have gotten to the news that I quit my job to write a book fall into two categories: the excited for me crowd and the raised eyebrow, “okaaaay,” secretly-think-I’m-crazy people.

Amongst the people who have expressed excitement over what I am doing, there have been a few who were awed by the news as well as some who have called me brave.

Me? Brave?

The first time I heard it, I just thought, Really? But I would rather be called “brave” than “stupid” so I let it go.

But it happened again. And again. A few more times and it was stuck in my head.

Do these people know me? I am no risk taker, I thought. I don’t think I’ve really shocked anyone with my decision, but the idea that it took courage was puzzling to me. My response was to shake my head and move on. The words I wanted to say — to convince them that it wasn’t at all what they thought — wouldn’t come. Because I hadn’t worked it out for myself yet.

On one of my last days in the office, a coworker was talking to me about my plans for the summer. She had somehow missed my news over the previous weeks. She sat, mouth agape, as I told her what I was doing. After answering a few of her questions, her mouth crept into a tiny grin that grew into a wide smile.

“Thank you,” she said.

“For what?”

“Being you. Being brave. Following your dream.” She proceeded to tell me her dream — a detailed image of a cabin in the woods and the life she would have in it.

“You’ve helped me see my cabin in the woods again.”

Not that I needed any more confirmation at that point, but her words kind of did it for me. My decision was primarily about me and being true to the things that I want from life, but if my choices could have that kind of impact on another person…if they could be inspired to remember what they want…how could I fail at this?

On June 2, 2012 I picked up my favorite journal, a well-loved Moleskine, and wrote these words:

I wish I was brave. People have been telling me that I am lately, since I am leaving my job.

I don’t believe it is bravery. For me, there was no other choice. Somehow, I have gotten back on this path. This was where I was meant to be from the beginning.

You are there. You have always been there. I am sorry it’s taken me so long to come home to you.

All I am doing is returning to the thing I have loved since I was a little girl…to the desires of my heart that have been there for years. This is the only thing I know to do.

Is it brave to be honest with yourself?
To acknowledge your hopes for the future, even if they are incongruous with the present?
To dig up the best version of yourself and revive it?
To return to your first love?

Seven years and one day before that entry, there was this. Maybe it won’t make much sense out of context. But the pieces fit.

Excavation

Perhaps in a past life they died together and were buried under miles of sea. And now they’re being discovered. Bones…bodies all tangled up and together and keeping the other warm. But a hand reaches out now and it knows, hesitates in touching that flesh it has longed for. For the first time in centuries, eyes meet and stop, breathing. You’ve been there. Forever.

Read-a-thon! Spring 2012

It’s time for Dewey’s Read-A-Thon! I’ll be keeping track of my progress here and posting on Twitter (@MissWisabus, #readathon) whenever there is an update. I will also be co-hosting Hours 12-14, so I hope to see you all around for that!

If you missed it, here’s my stack.

Scroll down for mini-challenges!

Goals: Spend 1-2 hours cheering, finish 3 titles, and read 1000 pages

Pages read: 1091
Time spent reading:  6 hours 46 mins
Time spent cheering: 1 hour 45 mins
Time spent co-hosting: 3 hours
Titles finished during Read-A-Thon: 2

Reading:
Glass by Ellen Hopkins (FINISHED)
The Walking Dead, Book #5 (FINISHED)
A Town Called Ruby Prairie by Annette Gail Smith (36%)

Updates:
7:00 – Good morning all! Starting out with Glass by Ellen Hopkins.

8:51 – 116 pages into Glass and stopped to prep for my co-hosting hours that occur later this evening. I hope you stick around for that!

One piece of Wasa toast with some Laughing Cow Cinnamon Cream Cheese and a second cuppa double bergamot Earl Grey down the hatch and I’m off again!

10:00 – It’s going well over here. Another hundred or so pages down. The Earl Grey did the trick and I’m much more awake than I was earlier. Need to get some cheering done so I may take a tiny break for that.

12:53 – Not far from being finished with Glass. I’m kinda “meh” about it. It’s interesting and I like knowing what happens to the character, but it’s so dark and depressing. (Also of note: Had a cough since I woke up this morning and now I’m experiencing some body aches. Really REALLY don’t want to be getting sick now.)

1:47 – Finished Glass. While I didn’t care for this one as much as Crank, I definitely have to pick up Fallout now. Sounds gripping. Going to start The Walking Dead Book #5 and try to check out some mini-challenges before my co-hosting duties begin 🙂

4:00 – Finished The Walking Dead Book #5 and now I’m going to move on to something that maybe isn’t so dark and depressing. Meaning I won’t be reading Dexter for a few hours yet :/ Ah well.

Definitely feel like I’m getting sick at this point and that bums me out. I guess on the upside I don’t feel like doing anything other than reading, so in that way I’m not distracted.

10:14 – Started co-hosting a few hours ago and finished up at 9pm here. Got back into reading ATCRP. Very quick read. Cute, quirky, sweet, and southern. Just a fun little read.

11:00 – Nyquil kicked in around 11 last night and I barely stumbled into the bed before falling asleep. I do think that reading yesterday and kinda letting myself rest was a good idea and I do’t feel as bad as I might otherwise. Still not feeling great.

 

Mini-Challenges!

 

Introductory Questionnaire:

  1. What fine part of the world are you reading from today? – Norman, OK
  2. Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? – Dexter is Delicious
  3. Which snack are you most looking forward to? – Chocolate covered strawberries!
  4. Tell us a little something about yourself! – Check up in the right hand corner for an extensive “about” — in short, I’m a lady who loves to read, loves Oklahoma and my family, gardening, photography, and yes, even more reading.
  5. If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?  — One thing I’ll do different today is CO-HOST!

 

End of Event Meme:

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you? – The hours I spent co-hosting were SOOO busy, but I enjoyed it a lot.
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? – Crank, Glass, & Burned by Ellen Hopkins. Get your hands on some verse novels! You’ll feel accomplished 🙂
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? – I plan on joining some committee to recruit cheerleaders because we needed more this year.
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? – Finally seeing how things worked behind the scenes was very impressive — the entire event is a well-oiled machine.
  5. How many books did you read? 2
  6. What were the names of the books you read? – See above.
  7. Which book did you enjoy most? – Walking Dead. This story has taken some crazy turns that I doubt will ever see the TV screen.
  8. Which did you enjoy least? – Didn’t read any this time around that I didn’t enjoy.
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? – Take to Twitter! I found that to be an awesome place to cheer people on, especially since you could see more up to the minute updates, complaints, etc. 🙂 The lists that Ronnica made for us were AWESOME.
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? – Cheerleader recruiter

 

 


Awaken

budding
(click to view larger size)

“Once the soul awakens, the search begins and you can never go back. From then on, you are inflamed with a special longing that will never again let you linger in the lowlands of complacency and partial fulfillment. The eternal makes you urgent. You are loath to let compromise or the threat of danger hold you back from striving toward the summit of fulfillment.” ― John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom