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Alison Sky [userpic]

LJ Idol - Week 7: Hope

November 5th, 2008 (10:15 pm)

I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
When one door closes I hope that one door opens
Promise me that you'll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance...
I hope you dance.

- Lee Ann Womack "I Hope You Dance"

Whenever I hear this song, there's always one prominent image in my head: a young woman in white with a flowing scarf standing at the edge of a cliff looking down into the ocean below. Debating on if she has the courage to take the plunge, even if it means that there is a chance she will miss and hit the rocks below. But is the risk worth the exhilaration of being able to "fly" for just a moment?

Fear is a horrible thing, as it keeps you from moving on to greater points in your life. Fear is what draws your eyes to the rocks in your endeavors.

For me, my biggest fear is disappointment. I'm afraid to disappoint others. I don't want my family to see me fail. I don't want to lose a lover because of a mistake I might make. To keep opportunities from going bad - I just don't go after them. I keep my desires away so that I don't let myself get opened to cause the disappointment. Even at the risk of sheltering myself and not chasing after my dreams.

However, I had an angel on my shoulder who always knew how to help me work past my fears. And angel of flesh and blood that was affectionately called my aunt Jerri. She was the one who had these hopes for me becoming everything I dreamed. So on three occasions she helped me stop looking at the rocks, and instead at the open air for me to fly in.

The first small jump came at the age of 25: a tiny jump, like a kid jumping off the curb of a sidewalk. It was when I learned to drive. At the age of 25, I was living outside of NYC and my parents didn't seem to care to teach me. Finally I was tired of bumming rides and they supported my choice. And it was both of them who accompanied me three days after I passed the test into the Nissan Dealership to get my first car, and they gave me the money for the down payment.

The second jump was in the summer of 2007 when I was 27 and still living at my parent's home and working at a job that was literally killing me. I had an offer from a friend to move to Maryland if I could find a job by August. They understood the need to leave the nest even if my mother was trying to tie my wings up, and helped fund my moving expenses, as well as money for car problems that happened only two months later that would have killed my finances and sent me crawling home.

My move to Maryland had been a small jump, one I knew was just a step before the big one. A practice jump off the side of a wall before I took on the cliff.

And that jump would come just this past spring. I was 29, and feeling burnt out. And in April I decided that it was time to do it, and no looking back or down at the rocks that I knew were there.

In May I gave in my month's notice to my job without having another one lined up. I found an apartment just outside of Nashville and signed a lease without seeing the place. And I moved at the end of June with only about $2K to live on until I found a job. It was the scariest experience in my life, and I was near tears some days as I sent out resume after resume with no calls. My bank account was dwindling and I was scared that I had made a big mistake. Those rocks were coming up fast, but she told me to be patient. It would happen. She had faith in me.

There is a point when a bird jumps off the cliff that they dive down headfirst, then they spread their wings and take off gliding across the air just above the water. In July I got a phone call that I was being offered a job. I started to make friends and get involved in worlds like theatre that I had given up on. I started to write again, and enjoy the words that came out of my head.

I was flying. I was free. I was home.

Then a month ago I crashed as I heard the news: Aunt Jerri had passed away. Just like that, the candle was blown out, and this dream that I was fulfilling lost the wind that supported it, and I was given a reality call as the cold water of the ocean slapped my face. How could I continue on this path without her? Who would be there to take my eyes off the rocks? Who would give me that push to start running at the next cliff I faced?

Then I realized that I could do this on my own. I didn't need to look at the rocks because now I would look up at the sky. My aunt was there now, watching from her spot in Heaven as I walked towards my next cliff. I can see her smile in my mind, and know that she is still my guiding angel... just with real wings now.

Her hopes are my dreams, and for that, I'm going to keep dancing for her. I won't fear the rocks. And I will laugh as I jump off my cliffs in life and wait for that moment to spread my own wings and fly. And I know she will be right there with me, gliding along the ocean until it's time to climb to the cliff again.

This post is for therealljidol. If you liked it, please remember to vote for me on Friday. Also, feedback is appreciated on this piece of non-fiction, as feedback = love.


Posted by: Jen and Nixon (jenandbronze)
Posted at: November 6th, 2008 05:19 am (UTC)

This was extremely well-written! Great job!

Posted by: The Tower of the Otherworld (caersidi)
Posted at: November 6th, 2008 08:22 am (UTC)

Very well written.

Posted by: lilmissmagic71 (lilmissmagic71)
Posted at: November 6th, 2008 02:43 pm (UTC)

Well done... you're very blessed to have that kind of influence in your life... thanks for sharing!

Posted by: Shadow Wolf Byrd (shadowwolf13)
Posted at: November 6th, 2008 04:58 pm (UTC)

Very well written! So glad you had somebody like that in your life and this was a beautiful tribute.

Posted by: Fala, wearing her author's coat. (fala_writes)
Posted at: November 6th, 2008 07:59 pm (UTC)

Well done, my dear - in this and all things. I love you and I miss you, but I'm so damn proud of you. *hugs*

Posted by: Gelsey (gelsey)
Posted at: November 6th, 2008 10:57 pm (UTC)

*sighs wistfully* I wish I could be that brave. I'm so glad you had someone to help you like that.

Very well written little piece, and I'm glad you shared it. :)

Posted by: brightflashes (brightflashes)
Posted at: November 6th, 2008 11:31 pm (UTC)
lj idol

I couldn't get the song out of my head when I heard the topic prompt and that's not to say that it was bad. I hoped that someone would be able to apply the song to the topic in a way that I couldn't seem to figure out. Good job! :)

Posted by: Ashlee ♪ (boxsofrain)
Posted at: November 7th, 2008 04:29 am (UTC)

This is a wonderful tribute to her.

Posted by: J. Alexander (johnmill79)
Posted at: November 7th, 2008 06:18 am (UTC)

Very beautiful piece. I only wish I could work up the courage to leap off of this cliff I've stood on for almost five years. Maybe I'll do it before I'm 30, who knows.

Posted by: The Creativator (ravenpan)
Posted at: November 7th, 2008 03:25 pm (UTC)

Oh darling, that was so moving. *hugs* love you.

Posted by: alycewilson (alycewilson)
Posted at: November 7th, 2008 11:31 pm (UTC)

Congratulations on finding the courage to fly.

Posted by: Bekah (blueashke)
Posted at: November 8th, 2008 12:14 am (UTC)

This made me cry, and that's a good thing.

Posted by: solstice_singer (solstice_singer)
Posted at: November 8th, 2008 03:03 am (UTC)

I like your nonfiction.

Taking those jumps can be awfully scary, so I definitely applaud you for taking them. I also applaud you for knowing that you no longer need someone to hope for you. You really can do it on your own.

Posted by: baxaphobia (baxaphobia)
Posted at: November 9th, 2008 04:19 pm (UTC)

This is so wonderful! I'm sure your aunt is watching over you and smiling at your successes!

Posted by: Darkprism (darkprism)
Posted at: November 9th, 2008 10:13 pm (UTC)

Leaps of faith can feel like skydives for faith and hope. Felt the same way when I moved to California to live with my then-boyfriend-now-husband. :) Best thing I ever did...and also the hardest. Things worth doing are rarely easy, of course.

Nice entry - thank you for sharing.


Posted by: imafarmgirl (imafarmgirl)
Posted at: November 10th, 2008 01:31 am (UTC)

great entry. Loved it.

Posted by: Walker, Texas Kitty (walkertxkitty)
Posted at: November 10th, 2008 03:08 am (UTC)

A very nice tribute piece, well written. Good work!

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