Head of the Chimera by Lisa Bohnwagner

My husband and I have the flu and have been watching a lot of movies this week.

There is a scene in The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) that is so powerful it brings me to tears every time I watch it.  I don’t mean that I just get misty-eyed — I mean full-blown, gasping for breath, chest-aching emotional sobbing.  In this scene, Walter makes a choice.  It’s one that goes against logic and his better judgement as he literally leaps into the unknown.  He spends the next few moments in wide-eyed shock.  He was terrified.

I know what that feels like.  Not on a motion picture scale, though it feels like that to me.  I’m no one special. I’m really very average and in some areas even less so.  Life scares the crap out of me all the time.  Behind my eyes I watch the movie of my life.  I see the monsters lurking in the shadows, and I know I need to make a choice to either face them or not.  If I think too much about the decision, I’ll hestitate, let myself down and the monsters will win.  So I leap.  I sign up for the networking events and introduce myself to strangers with a confidence and bravado I don’t really feel.  Afterward I let myself feel the fear and cry in my car on the drive home.  What matters is that I made the choice and I did it.

Choice changes everything.  And it can be made in a fraction of a moment.  In fact, I find it’s best done quickly before you give yourself the option of walking away.  Each time you choose to face your monsters, you get a little stronger and you move further along the journey of your life.  It can be a small choice, so small that it seems ridiculous to you, but that small choice builds confidence for the bigger ones to come.


  1. Get your Flu shot every Fall. It’s a wonderful discovery.

  2. I’ve long found that the adage known as “fake it ’till you make it” works wonders. One never completely gets over some terrors but, with practice, they loom less large.

  3. Anonymous – I’ve never had a flu shot before and have never had the flu – at least not that I can recall. Perhaps I will next year. Maybe not.

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