Fran Braga Meininger
Never Ending Firsts
I’ve arrived. I’ve been looking forward to this trip to Kauai for months, ever since I booked my reservation for the Kauai Writer’s Conference. There have been other trips to Hawaii over the years, but never to Kauai and never for such an important reason. Other destinations seemed more interesting and engaging. But here I am, not so much for the place as for the purpose.
I’m up early, it’s still dark, barely 5 00 am, as I settle onto the deck overlooking the bay, the shoreline just below, the sound of waves crashing against the rocks shattering the silence. The air is velvet smooth with humidity and my skin and hair soak it in as a welcome relief to the dry, smoke filled world I left behind.
The conference begins tomorrow and I admit I’m nervous as hell, but also excited to dive into the adventure. Sitting here, sipping coffee with macadamia nuts, that, truthfully was a mistake, but somehow seems right considering my surroundings, I’ve decided this is now my life. It may look just like my old life but it is indeed new. Perhaps not obvious from a distance, but from my vantage point, the glow of my screen against a back drop of a tropical island, looking inward as I lean into the nervousness, I know it’s a beginning.
I’ve decided that’s the point, the secret, the reason for being, to face the unknown, discover the uncharted and experience what is new.
For years, I settled into the routine of my life, a good life for sure, but one that was comfortable and secure. I lived well, enjoying a lifestyle that offered me pleasant company, beautiful surroundings and a stable existence, but there was always this nagging voice off in the distance, accusing me of settling for less than there could be. I resisted it, pushed it back when it tried to surface and cause me discontent. But it persisted.
Finally, it broke through and made me realize the truth. I was living less than what I deserved, less than what I could be. I had more potential and a higher purpose that remained untapped, mostly out of complacency and a lack of initiative. It urged me to step out and engage more fully in my own life and finally I surrendered.
So, here I sit as the stars fade above, on the eve of another first. Tomorrow, along with hundreds of other writers, I will attend sessions on how to pursue my career; introducing myself as an author, a title I never dreamed I would hold, sharing experiences, learning more about how one advances in a field where most fail. I will walk into a meeting with a prospective agent and publisher, present my work and my aspirations and ask to be taken on as a client so I can put my creations out into the world.
From now on, it’s all about the firsts, life-affirming, somewhat terrifying and never ending firsts.