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Dear Fear:

Like so many other people, I view the new year as a time to begin anew. There is nothing like a new year to start fresh and set goals. I am not considering this to be a New Year’s resolution though; this is more of a life change.

So, 17 days into 2017, I am serving you, fear, an eviction notice.

Most my life I have been hindered by you. I have allowed you to hold me back, create doubt and handicap my dreams. I allowed you to convince me that I wasn’t good enough to do what I was passionate about. So, for years I sat dormant, too afraid to try because I had grown accustomed to living with you.

When I thought I was being humble, I was really being controlled by you. Fear of rejection made me hide my writing. It made me ashamed to share my thoughts. It made me downplay my ability to write. Despite having published one book of poems, I was still not prepared to accept that I was more than capable of writing-and I should take it serious.

In sharing my writing, I discovered I have so much in common with other people. We share hurt, we share love, we share accomplishments. A defining moment in my writing came from a friend telling me I write for those who don’t have a voice. It put a lot of responsibility on me but honestly, I know I can handle it because I’m not going to stop writing. What’s in my heart speaks a language a lot of people understand. And I refuse to allow you to stand in my way.

This is your official notice that you are no longer welcome in my thoughts. You cannot reside here. You cannot keep me stagnant. I reject the status quo you tried to move in with you. You cannot keep my passion stifled anymore. I have work to do and you cannot keep taking up space in my mind. I am replacing you with optimism and dedication. I am inviting perseverance and commitment. Patience and passion are moving in.

My immediate writing goal is that I will no longer be referring to myself as an aspiring author because with you out of the picture, I am an author. I am breaking free from the complacency that had me bound and pushing myself forward. Because even if I fail, the greatest reward is that I am no longer afraid to try.