"Be brave. It is always okay to feel scared, but it is never okay not to try."
I grew up loving words, but I didn’t realize the impact written language had on my life until sometime in my twenties--after I had my first child. Writing was always one of those bucket list items for me. You know? “Write a novel” was stuck in between “skydive” and “visit every country.”
Growing up, I sustained myself on the worlds and lives I was pulled into between the pages of my favorite books. Each invented screenplay, pet eulogy, and improved lyric brought me closer to my sister and our friends. All of my journal entries of personal revelation and letters of friendship, love, anger, and sadness taught me to pay attention to my emotions and mental health. Every academic essay that I wrote helped me reach summa cum laude in high school, college, and post-grad. Each word I took in and each word I put down on paper influenced and molded the next. Even as I was growing and evolving as a writer, I never considered myself one, and it wasn’t until I became a parent that I examined my interest in writing as anything more than a casual wish.
My motto for my kids has always been: Be brave. It is always okay to feel scared, but it is never okay not to try. I watched my oldest son overcome his fear of water because of these words. I witnessed him get discouraged time and again as he learned to ride a bike with no trainers, but still persevere through the four years it took him to master the skill. It was because of him that I realized I was not practicing my own advice--I felt like a hypocrite. How could I expect bravery from my children until I found my own courage to do the thing I feared failing? That’s when I knew I had to become a writer.