on Life, Love and What's Happening Now
Lean in and the “Net” Will Appear
Life is funny. I started out this blog intending to write about brave women throughout history. I’d been struggling to find a topic when I was asked to write a magazine article about a Savannah entrepreneur named Emily McCarthy. This local style maven who’d started her own business at a young age was now launching a fashion line. After the interview, I left feeling inspired by her “all-in” type of bravery.
So, as I sat down to research courageous women--those past and present who had changed the world, I got some news that changed mine.
First, let me back up and offer a little back story. During that interview with McCarthy, something weird kept popping into my mind. As we were talking, the same expression kept creeping in. It’s a saying I once thought was insane, yet suddenly wouldn’t leave my head.
“Jump and the net will appear.”
Now, I am not a brave person by nature. As far as risk-taking is concerned, I’m generally more of the “dip my toe into the water, but only after I’ve checked its depth, PH level and everyone says it’s OK” kind-of-girl.
The only exception I can think of is the day I told my husband I wanted to write for a living. Writing was something I’d always done for myself. It was something I felt deep in my bones but was inexplicably frightened to talk about. I had all the excuses: I didn’t want to blog (and put myself out there). I didn’t have a website. The kids were still little.
Deep down, I was afraid of failing. Speaking those words felt like a cannonball.
The very next day, I was pushing my shopping cart through Walmart when I came across this little porcelain pig. As silly as he was, something about him spoke to me on a gut level. That day, it felt like the possibility of being a writer was about as likely as pigs flying. Still, I took him home and put him in my kitchen so I could look at him every day.
In some crazy, cosmic way, that little winged pig became the permission I needed and my very first “net.” Soon after, I started work on a parody gift book that’d been swimming around in my head. I also started my blog and began freelancing. In a “lean-in” sort of way, I tore through books and took classes. Later, deciding to take any writing assignment that came my way.
So, there I was—thinking about courage and working on my own—when I got the amazing news:
I’m excited to announce that Rachel Beck of the Holloway Literary Agency will be representing me and my gift book!
Yup, little ole me now has a literary agent. I am still pinching myself.
In case you were wondering, the book is a funny “out of the box” look at marriage designed to be read at bridal showers. It’s got a crazy name (to be released later) and not everyone might get it. Some people might think it’s genius. Maybe it won’t find a publisher. Maybe it will sell a million copies. The only thing I know for sure is that I had to “jump” to get this far.
After I finally calmed down, I went back to working on this blog and realized something important—the brave women in it were actually all around me. It wasn’t a coincidence that every one of my mentors and teachers, and all the members of my writing group are female. (Each courageous in their own right.)
I was in my 40’s when I finally spoke those words. That’s a lot of years dreaming about something I could have been doing. I think the truest form of bravery is living a life that is recklessly, authentically, ferociously yours.
The writing still is a completely vulnerable and exhilarating practice for me. (Truth be told, I throw up in my mouth a little bit whenever I post a new blog.) But the more I write, the more I realize that fear is just an emotion like sadness or joy.
It's my hope that someone will read this and feel a little bit braver too. The nets are all around and it’s never too late. When you lean into your dreams, anything can happen.
Take it from me, pigs can fly and so can you.
The first step comes if only you believe.