Sunday, December 11, 2016

Conquering Fear

I'm not very good with heights.  I could never climb this tower at Bonneville
Mill county park in Bristol, IN.  My children loved it and just watching them climb to 
the top would almost do me in.  There was another similar tower at Ox Bow Park, and it was
the same thing for me,  I would try, but the slightest wiggle of the tower made me run
for the safety of the ground.
Twelve years ago I went through a very tough time. A divorce.  You never think it will happen
to you and when it does you go through about every emotion known to mankind. 

When I realized there was nothing more I could do for the marriage and it was time to move on, I 
wanted to do something I had never done before.  Climb to the top of the towers.  It was a small feat for some, but something I had to do for my mental well being.  If I could conquer this, I knew I could 
get through everything else I had to deal with.  It wasn't something I shared with anyone, just something I had to do.  I know it sounds kind of silly, but once you face your biggest fears it gives you courage you never knew you had.

At that time my daughter Rose was a cross country runner and The Raiders would practice at Ox Bow park.  One day while I was waiting for her I just did it.  No body else was with me.  It was me and my fear. 
Step by step I slowly climbed the stairs, hanging on to the rail with my life.  When I reached the top it was if a weight had been lifted from my heart.  Every time I face an ordeal that I really don't want to face it takes me back to the towers.  (I did them both that week.)

My Intro to Environmental Designs students have their big jury next Tuesday.
I have never seen such a talented group all in the same class.  From the research, to
the beautiful renderings of their room designs.  They are all hoping to get The Best
of Show award, and let me tell you, it's going to be a tough decision so I'm glad that
I don't have to make it alone.  

One of my  students said she was ready to quit so she didn't have to go though this part of the class.  I told her I saw the perfect quote for her,
 "Your passion must be stronger than your fear."  
This is a big part of the job as a designer.  You must be able to sell your designs, your ideas and yourself.   

I remember my first jury.  I was so confident but when I stood in front of the Advisers my legs were
shaking uncontrollably.  Ed Harding (the one that was probably making them shake!) asked me if I would like to sit down.   I said "No thank you."  I did just fine even with the shakes, and it never happened again.

I wish there was something I could say that would help but it's just the doing of the task that will render the fear.