It takes guts to truly live – to reach out and grab the life you want rather than settling for what lands at your feet. That courage, of course, leaves you open and exposed to possible pitfalls and pain as well as triumph.
It’s the same with writing.
I’ve always rushed headlong at life and I have no doubt that is partly because my dad died when I was three. I learned early on that we only have so much time, maybe less than we think. I also learned that the people you love may not stick around forever. It’s given me that classic combination of daring driven by the darkest fear.
But here’s the thing…the more you dare, the more you face down that fear, the more dazzlingly open you become.
Like a butterfly unfurling its wings for the first time, the moment you emerge from that chrysalis of being careful and think:
‘Fuck it, I’m going to fly…’
You might fall a few times as you learn to flap your wings. You will gather a few bruises. Feel a bit battered. But once you learn you can rise again no matter what, you will fly harder and faster.
It’s the same with writing, with living and loving. With anything worth doing.
Yes, even when you hit the cliff-face of despair and start crashing towards the waves below, a tiny breeze will catch you. A few kind words. A spark of luck. Someone quietly telling you to try one more time. That you can do this.
The oxygen that fuels hope will fill your lungs and you will rise on it. The only failure is in finally letting those waves sink over your head. Even then you don’t fail. It’s life that fails you.
In the face of heartbreak and hopelessness, I’ve gulped in that oxygen. At times, I’ve barely been breathing. But here I am. Here you are.
Able to create a memorable life, even a glorious one.
A one filled with creativity and love and extraordinary moments.
All it takes is that tiny breeze to send you soaring towards it. Maybe even just a whisper of wind. Believe in it. Make your own miracles happen.
Your heart is broken?
Let it crack open all the way so you can unleash the real you on the world, the brave, brilliant, imperfect version.
You’ve lost hope?
Close your eyes. Listen. Do you hear that? It’s you breathing. While you do that, there is always hope.
No you’re not. You’re right here, right now, where you are supposed to be. Flex your shoulders. Feel those wings. You can do this, whatever it is.
I believe in you.
The only thing I ask is that you believe too.