In Honor of Heather Von Saint James: What Do You Fear?
Heather Von Saint James, Cancer Hero
Shortly after I shut the Road Home down, I was invited by a man named Cameron to participate in a custom that began in his family and is now famous across the web. The subject matter got me thinking about something we all deal with.
I don't really believe in fear in the common meaning. I believe fear is a challenge; something presented before us to be overcome it. If left unchecked, it becomes a hindrance, and what hinders you has power over you.
Of course, common sense has to come into it at some point. One is entirely justified in being afraid of jaywalking on the highway.
I'd like to tell you the story of a woman named Heather.
She was thirty-six and celebrating the recent birth of her daughter, Lily, when she received what some might consider the worst news imaginable; she was going to die. Though it was rare for this to happen to someone so young, Heather had contracted mesothelioma, which is caused by exposure to asbestos. She was given just over a year.
Rather than embrace the prognosis, she went another way; she had her lung removed. She describes it as one of the most terrifying decisions she's ever had to make, but with the support of her family, she did it.
That was eight years ago.
Now, in honor of the event, Heather and her family celebrate in an annual event called Lung Leavin Day. Those who attend write their fears on a plate and then smash the plate into a fire.
What do I fear?
I fear failure. I fear that the voices I in my head, the "Inner Retard" as Christopher Titus calls it, is right. I fear that I'll never amount to anything as a writer an work a nine-to-five for the rest of my life.
I fear success. I fear that I am not good enough, not skilled enough, to make it as a full-time writer. I am afraid that I don't have the knowledge or discipline to manage my finances in a way that will let me live solely on my writing income.
I have given into this fear by starting, and stopping, many projects, especially when they are close to completion.
I battle this fear by focusing not on the ideas for games, or animated movies, or even marketing at this point. I just write the book, one step at a time.
Congratulations to the Von Saint James family on their long, happy, and inspirational lives, and thank you Cameron, for letting me be part of it. Thank you for reading.