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My worst fear is failure.

The pool, once again, turned green this year. Everything I tried to fix it failed. So I prepare to close the pool, knowing I will have to fight it next year, knowing I failed.

As a kid, Mom called me a perfectionist, a character trait I have fought for years. If I didn’t know I could do something perfectly, I wouldn’t try. I stayed in my comfort zone, never breaking out into the world to see what was out there waiting for me. Naive… sheltered… scared to death… yup, that was me.

In college, I received my first grade lower than a B – C, D, even an F. It devastated me. I had failed. I was failing. I chose to major in art, a subjective area, where grades depend on someone’s opinion. Let me study, memorize, learn formulas and I will soar, but I wanted to tap into the creative energy that lurked in my soul. My chosen major made my mom panic. When I came home with low grades, she freaked out. My dad, who had dabbled in the art world, shrugged and said, “That’s art. Your life depends on what other people think.”

Huh. He shrugged. He accepted it.

Honestly getting those grades, facing failure made me stronger. I hadn’t died. The world hadn’t ended. I learned more from those classes where I struggled than in any others.

So ten years ago, I decided to be a writer, something I knew nothing about.

Would I fail?

Maybe. It was incredibly scary. But I wrote a book, then another, and another… but these aren’t just for me, I want others (people not related to me) to read them.

Would they ever be published?

I don’t know. I still don’t.

But, as scared as I am at getting those rejections, I am more afraid of never trying, of never knowing if it was possible.

Because it is possible. Fear whispers. It holds us down. But it isn’t real. And no one should let that little demon keep them from pursuing a dream.

Dreams are important. They are what make being human special. When my first story was published … oh, seven or so years ago … my sister sent me a card that read, “Dreams come a size too big so we can grow into them.”

As I went out to my failed pool yesterday, ready to cover and forget it, I discovered that my last effort had not failed… the green was settling to the bottom. So a bit of elbow grease to vacuum it out, gives me hope. Just when you think it’s done, over, finished, lying dead at the bottom of the pit of failure, a ray of light shines on the world.

Fear. Failure. They are strong adversaries, dark magic.

Dreaming. Hope. these make powerful allies in the fight to achieve our goals, to walk out into the unknown and create our lives.

My dream is big, but I am growing.

Everything is possible.