Supersize Me! Your Biggest You.

Going out on submission. Page 1 of a new story. Losing the Marauder’s Map to your muse.

Any of those things inspire fear in your writerly soul or trigger the insta-welt of hives? They do for me. And it’s funny, because the more scary something is—in life, writing, or otherwise—the smaller I want to become. Seriously. I want to collapse all my atomic space and compress to the size of a dime. Then someone can just stick me under the couch cushion where I’ll be safe and snuggly beside a forgotten Cheez-It. (And bonus—there are snacks here!)

But guess what? You can’t shrink yourself. I know because I’ve tried. So now I’m going to suggest something even more soul quaking…

The times you want to be your smallest are ALWAYS the times you need to be your biggest.

Yeah. The universe does this on purpose. I call it a Moxie Check. There are times I’ve failed and times I’ve succeeded. And in the spirit of this, I’d like to share an anecdotal success that led to a failure. Sorta. How’s that for ambiguous? 😉

In 1995, I had just been nominated “Soldier of the Brigade” at the US Army Aviation post where I was stationed in Germany. If I recall, (though, I confess my mind can be a tad Swiss cheesy) the qualifiers had to do with your physical training scores, weaponry skills, and occupational performance. Meaning I was a stellar helicopter refueler. Some girls wore perfume, I wore Fleur de Jet Fuel #8.

Anyway, there were a total of four nominees who would be pitted against each other before a panel of high brass commanders. (Think Hunger Games but with mental carnage.) The commanders would ask rapid-fire questions testing your knowledge of all things military: What is M.O.P. level-3? How do you perform a tourniquet? Plus you’d be asked to execute basic drill movements—About face! Forward march! Then they wouldn’t shout, Halt! Until you ran into a wall.

Needless to say, when the day of competition arrived, I was terrified. Especially when I saw the three male soldiers—massive, focused, and unflinching—I was competing against. And to make matters worse…I was the last to be called into the room. Heh. No pressure.

So there I stood, sweating outside the door and having a shrink-me-to-a-dime-shove-me-under-the-couch-cushion moment. Total Moxie Check. I remember staring at the ugly linoleum and thinking it looked like Rocky Road ice cream. Then trying not to projectile vomit because I was so terrified AND hate Rocky Road ice cream. But I knew, I knew I had to make a huge entrance. That’s when I got the command to knock and wait for permission to enter. *cue hyperventilation* But you know what I did? Even though I felt tiny and scared and insignificant? I dug deep down inside and…

I kicked the door. Three sonic boot booms. Bam. Bam. Bam.

I wish you could’ve seen the looks on their faces when I marched in. Eyebrows buoyed. Mouths gaped. And words were…mumbled. Yet somehow, despite feeling as wiggly as Jell-O during an elephant stampede, I managed to show them my biggest me.

If you’re wondering whether I won the title of Soldier of the Brigade, I didn’t. I lost. But I won a lot of respect that day—from no person higher ranking than myself. Because that was the day I learned bravery has nothing to do with the absence of fear. It’s the grit and determination to surge ahead…in spite of it.

The times you want to be your smallest are ALWAYS the times you need to be your biggest.

I know. That’s a tall order. Which is why you’ll need your biggest you. 😉 Now go kick some ass. The world is waiting.

And if you have a Moxie Check moment, I am all ears!

 Darcy

 

 

Writer's Life

30 Responses to Supersize Me! Your Biggest You.

  1. Darcy,
    I love your Moxy Check! Do you have some sort of list? :-) I need some moxy fast. Good for you for digging deep and being your biggest you. I used to work best under pressure, but now I’m all shrugging and like, “Eh. I’ll get to it when I get to it.” So, calling all moxy! Calling all moxy! I do realize this is sheer laziness and has nothing to do with moxy.
    I’m so happy to have another Rocky Road Hater in my midst. Can’t. Stand. Rocky. Road. Too much crap going in that ice cream. Although I love Moose Tracks. Go figure.
    Great post, Darcy! Fun and inspirational. Just like you. :-)

    • Darcy says:

      Kim! When I can’t find my Moxy, I leave her a trail of cookies to follow. Have you tried that? But seriously, anyone who juggles 5 kids AND has achieved the kind of writing accolades you have, definitely has the Moxy!!!

      And you’re so darn sweet (but not in an icky Rocky Road way)! Delighted the post was “Funspirational” 😉 Thanks for dropping by!

      xo
      Darcy

  2. Diane Burton says:

    Great post, Darcy. I like that Moxy Check. What’s the saying? Go big or go home? Good for you going big.

  3. Sonali Dev says:

    Darcy, my darling brave friend. The only thing dime-sized you’ll ever be is nitromethane (or whatever that super-explosive fuel is called). You’re a powerball and a sister of my heart. Because courage, I believe, is the substratum of a well lived life.
    Hugs!

    • Darcy says:

      *sniffles* *hugs you* Aww, thank you, my sister-heart Sonali. That’s a beautiful sentiment on courage. And I continue to be blown away by yours and all your successes!

      Appreciate you stopping in and can’t wait to celebrate A BOLLYWOOD AFFAIRS release!!! Have you all seen the cover?! It belongs on the wall of a museum!

      xo
      Darcy

  4. India Powers says:

    Darcy, I loved your story! I was laughing and so proud of you for kicking that door! :)

    Thanks for the supersized dose of wisdom. It’s easy to be brave if you aren’t afraid. Real courage is the ability to get past the fear and do what needs doing anyway.

    Whenever those self-doubts rise up and make me think–that spot in the corner of my couch, buried under a blanket, looks really attractive right now–I’m going to think BAM! BAM! BAM! and picture a metal door being dented as I kick my way past.

    It was so lovely to see you and hang out at SF14! (And I’m still embarrassed I missed your text. I need a phone in the palm like Colin Farrell had in Total Recall. Tech geeks? We need you!)

    Hugs,
    India

    • Darcy says:

      Spring Fling was SUCH a blast! Loved connecting and hanging out with you too, India! (and please, no worries on the missed text–i’m good at entertaining myself in the interim!)

      Happy to hear my anecdote will be useful next time you need to connect with your inner BAM! And can’t wait to hear how you’re kicking self-doubt’s ass. :)

      Thanks for commenting!

      xo
      Darcy

  5. Kristen says:

    What a fantastic, inspiring post! I’m sending this over to someone I think could use this today. I love that mental picture of you kicking the door. :) Thanks for sharing!

    • Darcy says:

      Oooh, Kristen, I’m thrilled you’re passing this on to someone who could use a lift! It’s truly the ultimate compliment when our words can be of use to another person.

      Thank YOU for dropping in and sharing! 😉

      xo
      Darcy

  6. Amy DeLuca says:

    I LOVE the mental picture of you kicking that door with your boot! They must have expected a gorilla to come through and then there was teensy little you (but only teensy in the bodily sense). We already knew you had a Supersized heart– this only gives us a glimpse of where it came from. I’ve experienced similar moments when I’d rather shrink than rise to the occasion, and I’ve had to put on my “Miss Pat”, so named for my brave and much-more-outgoing mom. Beyoncé calls hers Sasha Fierce! I guess in truly challenging moments, we could drape ourselves in the cloak of a new super hero… Miss Supersize Sasha-Pat Fierce! Look out world.

    • Darcy says:

      So, uh, is anyone else DYING to see Amy’s Halloween costume this year?! Love you and your Miss Supersize Sasha-Pat Fierce! Surely she (as in you) will take the world by storm. Though I dare say…you’re doing that already. 😉

      Way to be fierce, girl!

      Appreciate the super hero fly by!

      xo
      Darcy

  7. Nan Dixon says:

    Love the kicking in the door. (Why did I think kicking a**?) You are always big in my world.
    I love the Super-Sized image – but every day you sit down to the keyboard – I think we dust a little of that smallness away. It takes bravery to face the blank page — or even the horrific drat — each day.
    Congratulations for hitting this next milestone. I am expecting to see lots of people begging for your book!

    (Wishing we all lived in the same town so we could celebrate this achievement!)

    Nan

    • Darcy says:

      Nan!!! Yes, these are the times I want to fold the map and make us all closer! BTW, you are gargantuan in my world, too. 😉

      And you’re so right. The need for courage never ends…which is why it’s so imperative to have a supersized net of friends to catch us.

      I’m mirroring your congrats and book-begging! *shakes poms poms* GO YOU!

      xo
      Darcy

  8. Sharon Wray says:

    What a perfect post to read today, Darcy. I’ve been struggling with the desire to shrink into nothing when what I really need to do is be bold. I love your last line about fear and bravery because I always, always forget that when I feel like I’m on the edge of another epic fail.

    Thank you for your words today!

    • Darcy says:

      Oh, my dear, Sharon, being bold is the scariest thing in this entire universe! But I believe in you and your words. And the only way you could ever fail is if you let yourself shrink. And you’re too much of a fighter to let that happen! 😉

      Thank you for stopping in!

      xo
      Darcy

      NOTE: Off to day job, but promise to reply to all comments later this evening!

  9. Darcy,

    Ultra-weird universal star alignment alert!!! I just practiced a somewhat similar type of speech I’m giving tonight to my girl scout troop, in which I talk about my time in the Navy. Chills all around.

    Get big; stay big!!!! Thanks for the reminder.

    p.s. “Go Navy; Beat Army!” couldn’t resist.

    • Darcy says:

      Hi J.K.! Haha! I love these sorts of cosmic coincidences. Reinforced messages, right?

      Have a fab speech! And might I suggest a grand entrance? 😉

      Thanks for swinging by today! And no, of course I haven’t subliminally messaged GO ARMY all over this post. :)

      “Get big; stay big!” Yes to this!!!

      xo
      Darcy

  10. Lark Howard says:

    What a great post, Darcy! I don’t usually yearn to shrink, but I’d sure like an invisibility cloak at times. And you’re right, when things get most scary is when we have to be our biggest. Every step of this writing thing is scary–sending out those queries, signing with an agent, signing with a publisher or deciding to take your own path–and from what some very successful writers have said, it doesn’t ever get easy. Guess we’ll have plenty of chances to kick that door.

    Your courage and sense of humor are always an inspiration!

    Lark

    • Darcy says:

      Oh, gosh, thank you, Lark!

      I 100% agree, every step in this writers journey can be knee-knocking! But we do it anyway. Sometimes with grace, sometimes not. The point is that we continue to be doers. :)

      Appreciate the lovely comment!

      xo
      Darcy

  11. Sandra Owens says:

    From the day we met, you have always seemed to me like a BAM BAM BAM kick-ass kind of girl, Darcy. :-) Great, inspiring post. I’ve bookmarked it to read again when I need to kick down some doors – like the one that has a sign saying who told you that you could write? Ones like that.

    • Darcy says:

      Aww, shucks, ma’am. Thanks for those kind and kick ass words, Sandy!

      And I am so honored to be your bookmark. :) Sometimes it’s good to be reminded of your inner BAM! ‘Cause you definitely got it, sister!

      xo
      Darcy

  12. Moxy Check. You got it. Love that kick the door scene! Well done.

  13. Melissa Keir says:

    Wonderful post! You’ve given me something to remember and of course if I do shrink myself, I have food! :)

    • Darcy says:

      Appreciate the fly by, Melissa! And yes, knowing that food–albeit stale Cheez-Its–awaits you, still offers a measure of comfort. 😉

      xo
      Darcy

  14. You are one total kick-ass “Soldier of the Brigade” and writer, Darcy! Loved your post. Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom. They will provide inspiration when I face my next Moxy Check – they seem to come more and more often these days. Why is that?

    • Darcy says:

      Jacqui! I think the Moxy Check frequency is typically proportional to how much you challenge yourself in life. So…way to grow! :)

      Great to see you and delighted the post will help provide a boost when you need it!

      xo
      Darcy

  15. Suzanne says:

    Wonderful post, Darcy. I’ve always admired my husband because he walks right through his fears. He’s pretty amazing that way. So, I do have a story to share. Sadly, it’s not mine. When my oldest daughter started high school, I started a mother-daughter philanthropy group in my town. It was quite a big hassle, so I wanted to do something less complicated for my boys. So we started a parent-son philanthropy club at the high school. Well, turns out it was a huge success. Little did my boy grasp that it was a student-run club. The parents were behind the scenes. I led the first several meetings, just to show him how to do it. And then one day I handed him a speech, and I said, Since you’re the president, you need to take over leading it. Tonight’s that night. You should’ve seen his face. Like I mentioned, popular club, so we had all the jocks there. And my shy boy said quietly, I don’t want to do that. And I said, I know, but you have to, and you can. He went quiet, reviewed the notes on the car ride over, and then just did it. And I’m telling you, he rocked it. I was so freaking proud of him. He did it for 3 years, hating every minute of it but rocking it just the same. Just like his dad, that boy. Moxie.

    • Darcy says:

      Oh, Suzanne, I love your son’s story! Such a beautiful example of how sometimes the fear or dislike of something doesn’t lessen (even with repetition), but we can still find the courage to tackle it again and again. And become bigger people for it!

      Thanks for stopping in and sharing!

      xo
      Darcy

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