A Special Super-Breed Of Humans


Guest Post by Michelle Gardella author of River Story

“But, Mommy,” she cries, “I can see something! I can!”

It’s 2:00am and my four-year-old daughter is sitting up in bed, tears streaming down her cheeks. In the darkness she says she can see things moving, and no matter how many times I turn on the lights, or sing her sweet songs, she’s still convinced something frightening is lurking in the shadows. And all I can do is hug her and reassure her, “I know exactly how you feel. But I promise, you are safe.”

This past year has been filled with my own boogie-man moments. Times when I was convinced, without a doubt, that  something was surly lurking around the corner, waiting to take me down.

It sounds so dark and dreadful, but the more risk-takers and rule-breakers I talk with, the more I am realizing it’s all just part of the territory.

I used to have this crazy idea in my head that people living the lives of their dreams, were fearless. I truly believed that they woke up and went to bed each day never experiencing anxiety or doubt. In my head, they were all a special super-breed of humans. They had capes under their clothes and gold stars all over everything. They made decisions in milliseconds without hesitation, and over fancy dinners with other super-human friends, they’d laugh at the thought of failure.

No. Seriously. I actually thought this.

Meanwhile, there I was. Greasy top-knot, baggy over-worn sweatpants, to-do list ten miles long, and inner doubt that would take twenty weeks of nonstop yoga breathing to work through. And the fear. Oh my word, the fear. Every single time I’d take even the smallest step in the direction of my big dreams, it felt like I was going to passout/hyperventate/die. And I was convinced, without question, that there was some kind of evil force that would consume me if I even thought of living greatly.

Fast forward to 20 days ago. When I finally hit the ‘launch’ button on my HUGE dream project,  River Story: A book featuring women photographed in rivers across the US, and the unfolding of the artist who gave it all up to capture them. The two days before my Kickstarter began, I didn’t sleep, I could barely eat, and every other thought was, “I’m insane to be doing this.” But I hit that button. I stood in the face of intense fear, and I chose to hit the button anyway.

Here’s what I learned. There’s no such thing as a super-human-fearless-members-only-club. There’s no scenic route that will eventually take you to a place of full confidence and unwavering self-belief. Everyone is scared. Everyone fumbles through, and everyone wakes up in the middle of the night sometimes, convinced that the world is falling down around them. The moment we  stop fighting fear, is the moment we are free. Acceptance of all the yucky stuff that comes with taking big chances, that’s where the magic unfolds.


Michelle Gardella. Airstream living, book writing, picture taking, river wading, blanket hogging, board gaming, dream catching, truth slinging, Mama.
Her inspirational book, River Story, is available for exclusive pre-order here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1403221940/river-story


1 Comment

  1. Dawn Grimes

    i don’t know you but i feel i do and i am so proud of you! i am happy for you and happy i stumbled upon your book. i am enamored with your dream come true. :))

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