I was raised by a Yankee mother who told me every day..."Patty Jean, you're as good as anyone but no better than anyone."
I lived next to a Granny that told me every day..."God has special plans for you, don't let him down."
I had an aunt on my Daddy's side (he was the only boy) that told me I didn't matter because I would not carry on the Trousdale name to which I would say "Thank Goodness!"
If I didn't win in sports, I tried harder until I did. If I wanted to create something like a quilt, cooking, gardening ... I tried until I did it and was good at it. My mother died when I was 27 but she was sick three years before that. My Granny died when I was 18 and I miss talking to her every day. So, I guess I stepped out of my comfort zone when my mother died. I had to do more for the family, be more for my brothers, work harder to be sister, daughter, wife, mother.
Now, don't y'all dare feel sorry for me because it has made me a confidant woman. Able to solve any problem the world throws at me and able to be see and appreciate all the special blessing in my life.
When I was fifty years old, I told my husband I wanted to start writing again. I had not written anything since high school. He said okay and turned back to the television. I said, "I wasn't asking for permission, I was asking for your blessing." He said, "Okay." MEN!
I thought about it for about a month... where to start... then my Granny's words of wisdom came to me.
Start walking you'll come out somewhere.
So, I did. Conferences, reading how-to books, writing, retreats, and making writing friends
Wait, I think I've gotten off topic here... stepping out of comfort zone. Here are some pointers.
1. When someone you love dies... remember the love ones you have alive. Hold close cherish memories that will keep them alive in spirit. Write them down and pass them down
2. Remember who you are but don't be afraid to change. Take ballroom dancing classes, learn to paint, climb that mountain (oh no scratch that I hate to hike...but you can climb that mountain) ride a horse, scuba dive but don't water ski you might drown.
3. It's okay to end a feud. You don't have to say their right, just start the conversation. I'm sorry I upset you, can we talk about it.
4. Fear is your brain saying to be careful... Be careful and proceed
5. Throw your face into the wind and laugh... cry at the beauty of a sunset, kiss your love everyday with the passion you feel in your heart. Knock down those comfort barriers, grow, reach for dreams, learn something new everyday.
Look in the mirror every morning and say... I can... and do it
I'm going to share one of my flash fiction (only it's not fiction for some)
All I want to say is baby steps toward a goal is all you need. Believe in yourself and everyone else will believe too. Afraid to let others read your pieces... get over it ... who cares if they like it or not.... listen to them... think about what they say and grow..... some of my best stuff came from listening to people who didn't like my story.... I got beyond what they were saying and understood what they were saying. Okay, this is just a piece I wrote one Thanksgiving morning after visiting a nursing home. You might be sad for what she lost but I'm happy she has that plate and memories.
A winkled finger touches the rose and ivy design on the china plate. Tears fill her eyes, and she quickly closes them. Reaching for the handkerchief she always keeps in her sweater pocket, Labecca wipes the evidence of emotion from her cheek.
Any emotion brought questions, doctors and medicines to stop you from feeling. Memories should be allowed to flow because they painted joy, hope and love into your life. With them your essence is like a masterpiece painted by an artist; without them you are like a wisp of smoke waiting to leave.
Labecca looks around her small room with beige tile on the floor, beige paint on the wall and earth tone bedspread on the bed. No color! She feels herself fade into the neutral texture of the room and its nothingness strangles all hope of happiness from her.
She glances down at the only piece of china left from her life as a daughter, sister, mother and wife. Every Thanksgiving she had set her wedding china for her family’s feast. After the meal, she washed each piece by hand to preserve it for the next annual tradition. But what happens to tradition when you’re the only one left?
Carefully placing the plate in the wire basket attached to her walker, Lebecca struggles to rise and starts the long walk to the dining area. As she shuffles down the sterile hallway the sound of children laughing haunts her.