Our arts, our occupations, our marriages, our religion, we have not chosen, but society has chosen for us. We are parlour soldiers. We shun the rugged battle of fate, where strength is born. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Aquarians are experts at living boldly, but I only live on the cusp of the sign. My natural personality is shy, but I work hard to appear otherwise. The only thing more terrifying than public speaking is the dentist. I am not a risk taker by nature, only by trade. Seven years ago, my life caved in on me. Little things like taking a shower and getting dressed left me crying with exhaustion. Every part of my body ached. Unable to quit working, I stopped doing everything else, even the things I loved. I bounced from doctor to doctor with no luck. In the meantime, my life became very small. I stopped reading because the words didn't make sense. Even watching TV took more attention than I had. I crawled home from work, curled up in a ball with the covers over my head and slept. I even slept through birthday parties and family gatherings. One day I heard about a new clinic for pain and fatigue, and made an appointment to hear their advertising claims. My insurance declared it "experimental" and denied payments, but for some strange reason, I handed over my credit card for the first few hundred dollars. I couldn't afford it and worried I was being scammed, but something told me to do it. That moment made all the difference. Through their experimental care, I finally got some semblance of my life back. Since then, I live boldly. Even though I hate talking in front of people, I teach at a local university and force myself to present at conferences. I completed a year of my doctorate degree. I started five blogs and walked for March of Dimes. I am reading 111 books to celebrate 2011. I make homemade gifts for the people I love. Next week I begin work on my administrative license so I can open my own school. Of course, I still need to write my book and finish my doctorate degree. It's a lot of work to live boldly.