June 30, 2013

Master Your Own Fate. ~ Sher Meyer

I have always believed it is important to have dreams—something to look forward to and strive for.

Sometimes we are stalled or stopped in the pursuit of our dreams because we are afraid. While at times, our fears are real and maybe even justified, they can also be created by a feeling of not having or being enough.

I remember not trying out for the basketball team because I might not be good enough; not wearing a swimsuit in high school because I might not be thin enough; not going to a party because my clothes weren’t cool enough and not taking an opportunity to shine, in case I didn’t.

I am saddened to think about all of the time and opportunities I have wasted because I felt I wasn’t enough.

It’s funny how a ten year-old boy helped me to remember that the only thing standing in the way of my dreams was me.

This little fellow arrived at school excited about his first cross country run—he was finally old enough to participate.

He met his first hurdle when his shoes fell apart on the morning of the race.

He met his second hurdle when he wasn’t strong enough to complete the race in the steel-toed boots he had borrowed from his father (he didn’t own another pair of shoes).

Thanks to the resilience of this little boy, he managed to jump over both hurdles by not being afraid. He could easily have decided not to run at all and avoid the risk of being laughed at by the other students as he clomped along in his father’s boots. While he didn’t complete the race, he did have the courage to go after his dream.

Even when the road didn’t seem like an easy one, he ran most of the way in heavy steel-toed, man-sized boots.

I loved the resilience in that child and his courage to take a risk. Had he been afraid that he or the over-sized boots he wore weren’t enough, he would have given up on his dream.

The fears that I face are at the other end of the spectrum from what that little boy faced that day. For the past few years, my fears have revolved around getting older, allowing my hair to go its natural grey, figuring out how to dress in a way that felt right for a woman of my age, staying fit and healthy and learning that being old enough to be a grandmother isn’t something to be afraid of, it is one of the greatest gifts that ever existed.

As I retired from my career as an elementary school teacher, I was left wondering what this next phase of my life might look like. I have longed to be a writer for as long as I can remember, but it seemed like such a huge risk to let people read my work.

“What if I didn’t have enough to say? What if I couldn’t say it clearly enough? What if no one liked it?”

“What if I never had the courage to pursue my dream of writing and allowed my fears to stop me in my tracks?”

Thankfully, through a lifetime of experience and lessons learned from resilient people, like that brave little boy, I have learned that all it takes is trying, in spite of whatever obstacles may appear to be in the way.

Writing, like running, does have a certain amount of risk, one that I am more than willing to take.

I have also learned that you are never too old to wear a swimsuit, dress outrageously for a party or to carry a backpack when you are travelling around the world.

I have learned that whatever I have and whatever I am is enough, and nothing will come between me and my dreams.

Whatever it is you dream of doing, remember:

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

~ William Ernest Henley (“Invictus”)

Sher Meyer: “I am a traveler, a learner, a writer, an explorer, a teacher, and a lover of life. When my husband and I are not traveling or planning our next trip, I can be found playing with my grandchildren, sailing, camping, meditating, practicing yoga, playing tennis, hiking or digging around in my garden. After retiring from teaching elementary school, I am finally learning to slow down and see the beauty in every day. Up to now, my life has been an incredible ride. I love that as I age, it is so much easier to see my failures and falls and even the really painful parts of my life, as necessary steps along my path. I say ‘Thank  You’ to all of them!” Check out Sher’s website for more information.


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Assistant Ed: Stephanie Richard/Ed: Bryonie Wise

{Photo via Pinterest}

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