#leapfear Day 26 – Connie

You wouldn’t BELIEVE the things that AREN’T in Connie’s post.  Seriously.  Doesn’t everyone model for a few months at 18?  Doesn’t everyone do the trek at Machu Picchu? Isn’t everyone up at 6am or earlier at work on the farm?  Doesn’t everyone run a farm on their own when their husband was in a major accident?  Doesn’t everyone run dinner theatre in their community?  Honestly….every few minutes Connie would drop ANOTHER bombshell on me.

Connie has had a rich life but there are parts that would have defeated many of us.  Connie’s super power is to learn and rise above these things.  She has experienced fear and witnessed its devastating impacts on others, but she has chosen (yes it is a choice) to not let it conquer her.  She has seized life in every aspect possible.  Even by getting false eyelashes for this shoot.

Special thanks go to my amazing makeup artist Lindsey from BeYOUtiful Esthetics.  

Connie chose to share part of her thoughts in an essay and part of them answering the questions.

I was having a difficult time writing this piece. Everything I put on paper (ok- on computer screen!) looked trite and insignificant compared to the amazing journeys others had embarked on. I spent many days at my job composing in my head, deleting and jotting notes on tiny pieces of paper.

2016-02-26_0007.jpg

I wanted to tell about my fears for my 5 beautiful daughters and my 8 amazing grandchildren – their health, relationships, and my desire to hold them close and protect them. How I agonize for them when two of them have seizures- fearing for their lives and the lives of their unborn babies. We as mothers enter a contract when our babies are born to love and shield them from the troubles of life. To fear for them is as natural as breathing.
2016-02-26_0008.jpg
2016-02-26_0005.jpg

But it still wasn’t coming out right. In taking part in this journey with Anita I wanted to be able to explain how I came to be the person that I am.
I’m going to share with you my decision to become a farmer.
I was a pretty malleable kid. I didn’t get in to trouble, had decent grades, played guitar in the church choir. My favourite place to be was in the barn with my dad working together and chatting about nothing in particular. So when I sat in the office of the guidance counselor at my high school and she told me that “girls don’t become farmers” I was devastated. I was too afraid of “what people would think” to disagree. I ended up taking a year off of school and finally enrolled in a Child Care program.

2016-02-26_0003.jpg
2016-02-26_0004.jpg

But I wasn’t happy. Something was missing and the fear of not doing what was expected of me got in the way of my goals, and my hopes.
Two years later I was married, with a baby and one on the way. My husband and I had just bought our own farm and the 18% interest rates were pretty scary. I needed to find a way to make myself feel worthwhile. The University of Guelph offered a Distance Education program, so I jumped in with two feet. Babies didn’t stop me- the nurses at the hospital always wanted to know what course I was taking now when they saw books spread over the bed. I graduated the top of my class when our fifth daughter was 2. That piece of paper that calls me a graduate may not mean anything to our animals, it may not change the way I drive a combine or market our livestock, but it means a lot to me. It means that I conquered the fear that held me back from achieving my goals.
People say to me that they think I am pretty fearless. I’m good at a job I love, I’m very involved in our community. I jump into most everything with both feet- maybe as a result of that brash decision to finally get the education that I always wanted.
I’m proud to say that I am a Farmer!

2016-02-26_0002.jpg

What would you tell someone whose fears are still holding them back?

What would I say to someone whose fears are holding them back?
It’s no use fearing something you can’t control. Fear takes energy away from your ability to move forward. Facing your fears head on- and accepting the path it takes you is empowering. It can be scary- but that doesn’t have to hold you back.
2016-02-26_0006.jpg

Is there anything else you would like to share with people on the blog?

I had such a great time with Anita and Lindsey! Lindsey is a miracle worker who has tremendous talent!
Anita- fearless Anita- I was in awe of HER stories and her path to where she is now. Truly, spending a few hours with them was the most fun!! Kudos to both of them for embarking on this journey!
2016-02-26_0001.jpg