Monday, September 1, 2008
To Infinity, and Beyond
If you are going to walk on thin ice, you might as well dance.
On Friday, my daughter leaves to spend the semester at the University of Glasgow. She’s probably 90 percent excited and 10 percent nervous. If I were to analyze my own emotions, it would be more like 90 percent worried and 10 percent jealous.
It’s not the trip that I envy. It’s her sense of adventure. Sure she’s a little worried about making new friends, questioning the difficulty of her courses, and daunted by the sheer logistics of moving so far away from home. But mostly, she’s eager to begin this exciting new chapter of her life. She’s got this self-confidence that fills me with such pride as her mother.
There’s a difference between taking risks and risky behavior. And while no parent ever wants their kid to be in danger, we do want them to use their intelligence, education, and instincts, to try new things and chart new paths. Because it’s in the trying of something new, that we learn the most and take the greatest leaps forward.
Next month, I’m going to Bouchercon, a huge mystery conference featuring authors I’ve admired and been been reading for years. I’ve even been asked to moderate a panel (Cat Scratch Fever, Saturday, October 11, 10-11 AM). It’s an honor, it’s exciting…it’s scary. I’ve got to move outside my comfort zone. Writers are often shy – maybe it’s why we invent characters with all the daring traits we lack. So I’ve got to force myself to “get out there.” I'm determined to avoid that eighth grade dance experience that is imprinted in my brain: hovering around the punch bowl, eating chips, tapping my feet, and checking my watch to see when my father is going to pick me up. Instead I've made up my mind that I'm going to take chances -- sit next to someone I don't know; begin conversations rather than waiting for someone to talk to me; and embrace the unknown, rather than stick to the familiar.
Please tell me - how do you approach new adventures?
Marian, the Northern half of Evelyn David