fearless : so not part of it

Fearless is so not part of it. If you’re fearless, there’s something wrong. The fear part is how you know you’re close to the truth. It’s how you know you’re close to something that matters. If you’re fearless, you’ve probably done it a thousand times.
— Lynsey Dyer, professional freestyle skier, in Lucia Issue Two : Perfection

April 15, 2016 - Daily Notes

This week, I met Lucia's design advisor, Karly, for dinner on a sailboat. She swung through town and in exchange for her creative work had been offered a few nights' stay on a 32-foot floating beauty. She invited me to come for kale salad, wine and to talk Lucia.

It was Tuesday and it was raining. I was exhausted from waking up at 5:00 a.m. to help support one of my clients hosting Hillary Clinton for an Equal Pay Day event in New York. My job was to be a scribe; to watch the live broadcast, listen carefully, and quickly write a press release re-capping the event.

That work, my day job, is what enables me to continue going with Lucia right now. It also requires my full attention most weekdays. Pivoting from that headspace into the softer heart place from which I can write, speak, plan, manage, envision and create Lucia does not happen on a dime.

It stopped raining so we decided to go for a walk through Golden Gardens, the beach next door to the marina. Climbing out of the boat, Karly asked, "So, what's your plan for funding Lucia from here forward?"

Karly has a way of asking direct questions. I have a way of not being able to give succinct answers. Her question hit the center of my tired brain and I could feel the stem where fear lives rile up. The electrical charge moved out into my limbs and then back in again where it squeezed my gut enough to send my defenses straight up. I squirmed.

"Or, do you not want to talk about that? We can talk about something else," she said. 

The only thing I dislike more than fear is letting it have its way. For my 34th birthday my parents gave me a card with a photograph of a small kitten sitting in a giant food bowl labeled "DOG." The kitten's wide eyes revealed terror, determination and optimism all at once.

"We can talk about it, sure," I said solidly, as my big leather boot stepped off the boat onto the concrete dock. 

"I don't know yet and it scares me," I heard myself say. What ensued was an hour-long exploration the whole uncomfortable topic. No hard or fast answers appeared, but I did hear myself speak truth. I listened to Karly's ideas. I stayed in the bowl.

Good advisors, I think, are not people who have all of the answers. They do not always have more experience than you. Good advisors are the people who care enough to ask you the hard questions.

Karly fed me gourmet chocolate when we returned to the sailboat and gently steered our conversation back to design, editorial, and the only slightly less terrifying topic of my love life. 

That kitten in the dog bowl is not fearless and neither am I. But the idea of making friends with the dog--of figuring out this puzzle and succeeding--is more exciting than it is fearful. So I keep going.

I must. You must. We all must. Fearless is so not part of it.