Tammie Fickas

Your Life Can Be the Story

You can have the other words-chance, luck, coincidence, serendipity. I’ll take grace. I don’t know what it is exactly, but I’ll take it.  

~Mary Oliver, Sand Dabs, Five



We women of a certain age are so hard on ourselves. The world screams at us about who we should be, how we should act, and what we can or can’t do at this point in our lives. But hasn’t that always been the case? We grow up with expectations – whether they come from our parents, our teachers, media, or even from ourselves, those expectations can weigh heavily on our hearts.

I know. 

Growing up as an anxious child, I became the girl afraid to stand out but longing to be noticed, seen, and understood. Anxiety and fear have been my companions, keeping me planted firmly along the wall. Adventures happened in my imagination, in stories, but never in my own life. Because here’s the thing – I couldn’t live up to the expectations I held for myself.

 Can you relate? Do you have stories you want to live out but feel it’s too late?

 Friend, you’ve come to the right place!

 One of my long-held dreams involved writing. Then I went to college, and my freshman comp teacher hated every word I ever wrote. Did they really? Probably not, but after years of teachers telling me I had writing talent, this teacher dared to edit my papers to show me where I could improve. Embarrassed that the writer didn’t have what it takes, I put my pen and my IBM Selectric away and never spoke of writing for years. 

 Then my mom got sick, and I realized life was too short. I stepped out of the shadows and tried things. My life blossomed. Not everything I attempted worked out – in my linen closet, you’ll find many ceramic bowls that will never garner big bucks in an auction. Those misshapen items represent an important lesson. Wheel-thrown pottery sounded like fun, and so I took a class. I had so much fun I took a second class. I’m not a potter and haven’t sat at a pottery wheel for years, but those pieces remind me that I don’t have to be perfect to enjoy life.

 Friend, if you’re still with me, I invite you to take hold of grace and step into your life. It doesn’t have to be big; it just needs to have importance for you.