Please welcome Stacy Gold as my guest today!
At the age of 19, I drove from Georgia to Colorado with my dog, $500 dollars in my pocket, and the promise of a job as a whitewater raft guide. That winter, I decide to ski-bum in Breckenridge—and I didn’t even know how to ski.
People often called me brave, but I never felt brave. They touted my fearlessness, but damn was I scared. Didn’t matter though.
I did what I believed I needed to do at the time, and the consequences of not taking the leap always seemed much worse than the alternative. Even when everything didn’t work out perfectly, in hindsight, I’ve always been glad I took the risk—fears be damned.
Since then I’ve made a habit of pushing my comfort zone. I’ve moved seventeen times and lived in nine states and two countries. Changed careers a few times. Traveled solo in Europe and Mexico. Kayaked class V rapids. Been helicopter dropped in to a hut in the middle-of-nowhere to backcountry ski for a week in total solitude with a handful of friends.
Probably the riskiest, scariest thing I’ve ever done—given my family history—was marrying the love of my life because it was important to him, even though I was against the institution of marriage. Almost seventeen years later, I don’t regret it one bit.
Every single time I’ve done something crazy or risky or out of my comfort zone, I’ve felt a mix of fear and excitement and joy and trepidation. The unknown is always scary, and there’s nothing more unknown than your own future.
The thing is, fear is healthy. Fear is human. Fear is, ideally, what keeps me from killing myself by doing something stupid. That doesn’t mean fear rules me.
Amazing things come to those who are willing to take calculated risks. Who push through the fear and move forward anyway.
Luckily, moving through fear gets easier with practice. I should know… I’m practically a pro nowadays.
I’ve learned to embrace the risks. I’ve come to relish doing the “crazy” thing (including becoming a romance author). Because life has proven to me time and again that it’s worth it.
Fear is not a giant stop sign in the road of my life. It’s a warning flag to carefully consider the risks and how I can mitigate them before proceeding. And the older I get, the more I delight in pushing the boundaries of my comfort zone.
Case in point—A year and a half ago, my hubby was offered a new job in Colorado. We sat in a restaurant in Boulder the weekend this company flew us out, discussing whether or not he should take the position. If he did, we’d be selling our house, leaving our friends, and uprooting our lives after fifteen wonderful years in Seattle for…The great unknown.
Hubby, with fear in his eyes: “Is this crazy?”
Me, with a lunatic grin: “Absolutely. But we should do it anyway.”
So, we did. It‘s been totally worth it, and we have zero regrets. Were we fearless? Hell, no. Did it matter? Not one bit.
I believe deeply in the words of the late, great, Hunter S Thompson:
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”
When fear threatens to paralyze me, I ask myself these simple questions…
1) What is the best thing that can happen, and what are the chances?
2) What is the worst thing that can happen, and what are the chances?
3) Is the potential risk worth the potential reward?
4) What happens if I do nothing?
5) Am I okay with that?
That last question gets me moving pretty much every time.
Have you ever done something that made other people think you were fearless when you weren’t? What was it, and why did you do it despite the fear? How did it turn out? I’d love to read your stories in the comments below.
Enjoy this Excerpt from Just Friends
My eyes followed the curve of his lips. They weren’t thin, and they weren’t full either. But they had a kissable shape that begged me to trace their subtle contours with the tip of my tongue. To nip. To explore and taste.
Not that it would ever happen. Not again. I had proof of that.
We’d kissed once, on a drunken night years ago, right after he’d split with his long-term girlfriend. It started out toe-curling, but ended when he pulled away and made it clear he wasn’t attracted to me. At least, not in the way I was attracted to him. Mortified, I pretended it was the alcohol and vowed never to let him know how much I wanted him.
A good vow to remember. Especially now, when I needed a friend more than anything else. Definitely more than I needed a romantic distraction.
“It’s great to see you.” His words, and his smile, flowed over me like liquid caramel.
“You too.” The connection between us buzzed in me like high-tension power lines. Same as always. So powerful I couldn’t understand how, or why, he didn’t feel it too.
Our noses were inches apart. I tasted his breath, minty and sweet, and licked my lips in anticipation of a kiss I knew would never come. Some habits die hard. I was determined to choke this one until it gave up the ghost.
About the Author
Stacy Gold is a compulsive tea drinker, outdoor sports junkie and lover of good (and bad) puns.
Two years ago she gave up her day job as Communications Director of a nonprofit mountain biking organization to write sassy, steamy, contemporary romance novels. Her stories are packed with strong, independent women, and the men who can’t resist them, finding love and adventure in the great outdoors. When Stacy’s not busy reading or writing, you can find her dancing, laughing or playing hard in the mountains with her wonderful hubby and happy dog.
Her short, steamy, contemporary ski romance “Just Friends” is available for pre-order now. Release date March 3rd, 2017. http://stacygold.com/books
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