“Chicken”- You won’t find a gal more inspiring than my friend Lauree (@simplyleap). Surviving a brain tumor and a brutal recovery, she persevered and proceeded to do things that scared her, including writing a couple books. Meeting her at the @hippocampusmag Creative Nonfiction Writers Conference in 2017 left an indelible mark on my brain—a little hug-of-a-voice that says, “Be scared. Now do it.“ So many scary things I’ve done haven’t been by choice—like raising a child with special needs. Scariest goddamn thing I’ve ever done. Still scares me. Because he’s not DONE and I won’t be here to see him “finish the race” if the gods are kind. I have to employ faith he’ll flourish.
Still, once a year, I choose to do something I could fail at, be it physical, mental, emotional or spiritual, in order to stretch, grow and redefine my place in this world. Because “familiarity breeds contempt” and I won’t allow myself to grow contemptuous of situations I’ve a hand in, however difficult making a pivot may be. No one likes failure, let alone painful change, even change we know is good for us. Quitting a job, ending a bad relationship, making lifestyle changes…even learning something new, re-aligns the molecules of our universe. It changes our interior as much as exterior world. For me, choosing to expand my creative life was a difficult one, involving making a financial investment that scared me. Because I wasn’t just buying a camera. I was making an investment in me, gambling on ME. Purchasing it was like buying a Lamborghini with a learner’s permit. I still feel skittish behind the lens, because a chasm exists between what I KNOW I can do and the skills needed to get there. It takes learning, practice and time... And HELP. In the last week I’ve been the beneficiary of much-appreciated guidance from skilled photographers willing to teach me things I’ve struggled to unravel on my own—my gratitude to them immeasurable. So with that, I’m heading out to the nearest light pollution-free skies to attempt night photography—South Dakota—and MAYBE capture the Milky Way—a bucket list item. And if I fail… Maybe I’ll just eat a Milky Way and try again.
(©2019 Miranda Remington)