Advice from a shower curtain

My shower curtain has quotations all over it. The project took about five hours, the radio on, a $2.47 shower curtain liner from Wal-Mart, and a package of multicolored Sharpies. It ended up being a colorful mishmash of my favorite quotations, scrawled in a purposefully careless print on the frosty vinyl.

Right now, one of my shower curtain quotations is by Eleanor Roosevelt: “Do one thing every day that scares you.” Well, whether it’s fear of making a costly error with a piece of ductwork (blood and stitches, anyone?), dealing with late-night alarms on Boiler 3, or turning in my deposit for this month’s skydiving trip, I face fear with a fair degree of regularity.

Reminds me of a writing class–a certain professor who ensured that I lived up to Eleanor’s advice every time I walked into his classroom. He gave similar advice: take risks. Step out there. Don’t limit yourself to what’s real or to what’s realistic.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m pretty sure reality is challenging and dramatic enough without adding creative license. Tomorrow? Re-wire a capacitor on an AC unit, armed with pliers, a screwdriver, and instructions printed out from Google. August? Board a Greyhound with a thick stack of tickets and a 3,300-mile itinerary.

Yeah. I’m pretty happy both writing about reality and facing the fear that invites itself into my life, whether it’s skydiving or saying yes when I’d rather take the road more traveled. But… maybe I should listen to my shower curtain more often.

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