I'm at the Banff Centre for a week, participating in the Writing With Style program. A friend of mine came here last year and raved about it, so I sent off my application and got accepted into the First Chapter, Novel workshop.
First off, let me say that checking out of my life for a whole week NEVER happens. Sure, I've gone on vacations (aaah, Italy, how I miss you!) but always with someone else. I can't recall having gone away ALONE for a week since I've had kids. EVER. (sorry about the caps, can you tell I'm a bit excited?) So this in itself is a biggie. Last Saturday I jumped in my truck, peeled out of the driveway, and headed for the open road, latte in hand and snacks on the passenger seat. I blasted any music I wanted (Gotye is my latest obsession), stopped whenever I wanted, and ate whatever I wanted (hello, Subway!).
Upon arrival, I checked in and found my room. MY room. Just mine. All alone. For a week (sorry, I'm a little giddy). Thinking I had loads of time to unwind, unpack, and wash off the grime of the road (because apparently I'm Willie Nelson now), I collapsed on the bed and glanced at the clock. Wait a minute.....what? 6:50? That can't be right. Umm....right.....Alberta time......CRAP. I only had 40 minutes until my first mixer, when I come face to face with the people I'd be spending the next week with.
I've never showered so quickly.
And in record time, I took a deep breath, pushed back my shoulders, and.....opened my door.
Trying new things is fun. Vital, in fact, to our well-being and growth. But it can also be terrifying. We fear the unknown. Will I be successful? Will I look like an idiot? Will I have lettuce stuck in my teeth? And, trust me, fear has kept me from trying a lot of things in my life. Not just fun things, but serious things. Like standing up for myself, or setting boundaries. I've allowed fear to keep me from living an authentic life.
But, being here at the Banff Centre, I kinda feel like anything's possible. I survived the first night, and the next, and the next. And now, three days in, I sense a shift. I am moving from fear to joy. I'm excited about being here, surrounded by others who are also battling fear, and acting courageously.
Sometimes it takes courage to take that first step. Or, for me this week, just to open my door.
Putting one foot in front of the other,