Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Eleanor Roosevelt said "You must do that thing you think you cannot do." I wonder what that would be, for me, right now. Her quote is along the same lines as the one I kept on my refrigerator door for years: Do something every day that scares you!

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to that one. For one thing, it gave me the courage to go back to school and study horticulture, and then to accept that part-time job with the landscape architect - to learn all the stuff they just weren't teaching us in class - which then gave me the courage to start doing landscape designs for friends and family, which then lead to some paying clients (talk about scary)! It also gave me the courage to apply for that job as visual merchandiser at the native plant nursery, just because it was calling my name, even though I had no official training or experience in that field.

It gave us the nudge we needed to go ahead and buy this house, even though it was a real stretch, and not just keep putting it off until it was too late, and we ended up stuck in the 'burbs forever. And, it finally gave me the courage to quit the safety and routine of my life and job in Houston, to move ahead to a life in the Hill Country, and to delve further into my passion for writing. Since then, it has kept me from becoming a hermit, safe in my own little world, and has pushed me out of my comfort zone on a daily basis: tackling the blogosphere; submitting articles to newspapers and magazines, and dealing with the inevitable rejections; attending a conference for memoir writers; volunteering for the board of The Bountiful Sprout; networking with established writers and editors, and even asking for help when I needed it (such a hard thing for me!); taking my blinders off regarding sustainability, and learning to be a better friend and person....well, this list could go on forever!

But these are many small things, and Eleanor said "that thing", which implies that one big thing. What would that one thing, that I think I cannot do, be? Hmm, well... it would probably be having someone ask me what I do, then looking them straight in the eye, while replying "I'm a writer, and an advocate for sustainability." That is the thing I think I cannot do, at least, not yet. Because once I started doing that, I could no longer do either thing half-heartedly. I'd really have to walk the walk, and talk the talk, now wouldn't I?


d.a. said...

Where there's fear, there's power, eh? :-)

Hill Country Hippie said...

Picture me doing the fist pump in the air.