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I’ve spent most of my life being afraid. I decided that though I can’t do anything about my fears, I don’t have to let them stop me.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but if I never wrote down all the stories I came up with. I realized that if I didn’t try, I could never succeed. Sounds logical right? Surprising how many years it took me to realize this. I was so afraid of failing.

Writing was hard at first and I struggled. Whenever I sat at my computer my mind went as blank as my screen. I kept at it, gradually writing a bit at a time. As I went it eventually got easier and now I’m writing like a mad woman.

Another fear I have is flying. I’ve let it stop me from ever seeing the ocean, one of the things I always wanted to do. I decided it was time to do something about that as well. I didn’t fly alone and I held my Mommy’s hand at every bump, but I made it. We flew to South Carolina to see my sister and I saw the ocean.

The first thing that struck me was the smell. It was better than I’d imagined it, fresh and salty. It surprised me how much it looked like Lake Michigan, the only other large body of water I’d seen. Though there were plenty more waves and it was more blue than green they both appeared endless. It was a wonderful experience, even if I discovered I am extremely prone to sea sickness. (I got sick on a floaty raft. Apparently, I even turned green.)

I also had another interesting first. I got stung by a jellyfish. My sister commented on how it was impossible to describe how a jellyfish sting feels. I, of course, took that as a challenge.

“I was bobbing in the waves, attempting not to get sea sick, when I felt a jab at my leg. My first thought was that I had been pinched by a crab. It dawned on me as the pain changed, not too different from the feeling right after I’m stung by a bee, that it must have been a jellyfish. As I hobbled to shore the pain radiating up my leg changed again to a sharp burning.”

My sister the scientist informed me that it is a unique experience. “The first time you are stung it is the worst, because your body doesn’t know how to react.” I don’t think my body needed to know this, though it wasn’t nearly as bad as I make it sound.

I have been striving to live life to the fullest and have new experiences. They haven’t all been good experiences, but they still enriched my life. Besides, even bad experiences can provide me with writing ideas.

What scares you?