My son was never the kind of kid that would pee in public in an emergency. He was always very modest. If we were out in the woods we would have to high tail it to a bathroom. He always shuts the bathroom door at home and locks it too. (The cats know how to open it. They like to hang with you in private moments).
Imagine a recent day where my now-9-year-old and I go to the local kids castle playground. A peaceful day. No one around (thankfully). I park by a bench and look over to see my son leaning his head on a tree and a familiar stream coming out. He was peeing on the tree.
I stood in shock, not sure that I was really seeing what I was seeing. Then I shouted the heavens down. Stream stopped. Explanation demanded.
So the Butterfly Man came to school and told the kids that butterflies love pee. Animal pee. Human pee. It attracts them. He said on walking tours that he would send out his workers ahead of time to pee along the way so visitors would see butterflies abound (really?). My son loves butterflies. He is obsessed with caterpillars and chrysalis (“because cocoons are only for moths, Mom”). If anyone would want to attract butterflies it’s my son, even if it meant doing something outside of his comfort zone. I understood.
That got me thinking. What have I done outside of my comfort zone to achieve something? First memory. Walking in to the U.S. Navy Recruiter’s office one day on a whim, to soon find myself barely standing on no sleep with a company commander screaming in my face to “shut up, you, bubble-eyed fool”.
But what have I done lately? Go to my first Writers Conference. Yep. Didn’t sleep for days. Didn’t feel like I belonged. But it was fantastic. And I attracted new and wonderful friends that have spread.
I went to my first agent pitch. Thought I would pitch all over her. But that’s how I met my publisher. I read at my first reading. Legs shaking, voice cracking. I did it. No one laughed me out of the room. And I did it again. And again. It became easier and I attracted self-confidence for myself.
Next month I’m going to brave ThrillerFest in NYC. Where I’ll (legs shaking) get to meet the most amazing thriller writers of today and present my debut novel to the conference (I hope I get to sit for that). I’ll have to step out of my security blanket of anonymity and fear of crowded places.
I won’t be peeing on any trees. But you better believe it will feel like I’m doing that in public just the same.
My mother said I always wanted to be a boy when I was a little girl and would stand up and “go” for practice. So even if I did have to pee on a tree to get what I want, I bet I’d have pretty good aim.
Have you done something lately outside of your comfort zone to get what you want?