Fearless Women

Sometimes I write bits of stories before I actually have stories for them to go into. There is something I wrote a while back in one of the notebooks I brought with me. It goes like this:

“I felt that I was the most beautiful I had ever been in my life, and the smartest and bravest. I felt as though I deserved to feel alive, as though I deserved life and love and to do the work I was meant for. And that if I was brave enough to strive for those things, the universe would help me.”

When I wrote this, I had no idea what story it would go into, but I think now I know. While I was in London, I got an idea for, not a story, but a whole novel, to be called The Malcontents. It would be about a woman, an academic, who was researching women who had not been content with the lives they were supposed to live, and so they lived other lives: women like George Sand, Virginia Woolf. They decided to live in ways they were not necessarily supposed to. And it would be about her own life, the academic’s: about how she herself became one of the malcontents. I have no idea when I’ll have time to write this novel, but I like the idea a lot.

Here is George Sand:

I think there is a certain age, for women, when you become fearless. It may be a different age for every woman, I don’t know. It’s not that you stop fearing things: I’m still afraid of heights, for example. Or rather, of falling — heights aren’t the problem. But you stop fearing life itself. It’s when you become fearless in that way that you decide to live.

Perhaps it’s when you come to the realization that the point of life isn’t to be rich, or secure, or even to be loved — to be any of the things that people usually think is the point. The point of life is to live as deeply as possible, to experience fully. And that can be done in so many ways.

This is of course a personal post, because I feel as though, although I’m certainly not fearless, I have become more so in the last few years. You become fearless in part from experiencing things, from going through difficulties and setbacks. The more you do that, the more you discover that you can get through them, that you’re stronger than you thought. And suddenly, things that used to scare you aren’t so scary anymore. So I will claim for myself that I’m more fearless than I used to be.

Here is Virginia Woolf:

My internet time is about to run out. But I like this idea for a novel. I like it a lot.

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19 Responses to Fearless Women

  1. ratroot says:

    Great concept! Do it!!

  2. Mare says:

    Dora I just must tell you that your post has just become part of the synchronicity that has begun in the past 2 weeks after I decided to do something that scares me. The events that led up to me making this choice (or this choice perhaps choosing me) are old patterns, things I cannot seem to allow to settle in me that have re played themselves for almost 20 years, no matter what I’ve done to face them and heal them, they persist regardless. I believe the very root of this pattern is self loathing and a fear of death. My life is really quite sweet. I love my work (I am a body worker and yoga teacher, run workshops and am in private practice doing massage and a variety of other modalities) I earn a good living, I have amazing friends, I’m a guitarist and singer/songwriter and have a really great work/play/create/be happy balance in my life. I have designed my life very consciously. I feel part of my community in a deep way and life is good. So in many ways I have a high regard for myself and am strong, capable and content. But I cannot seem to stay in a relationship with a man. I pick horribly unavailable people who refuse to commit to the relationship. I either get rejected by the men I do want to stay with or I choose needy people who are incapable of managing their lives and I choose not to stay with. The same two scenes play out over and over. Here I am in my mid 40’s and I have to face that I am attracting these sick relationships. This one area of my life keeps falling apart. I must not feel worthy and for darn good reason given my upbringing. I say all of this because the post about Fearless Women resonated so totally and validated the bold step I am going to take to face this demon who keeps me from love. There is no path, I am going to face myself in the mountains of Peru and get face to face with the pain and lies that has me believing I am not good enough to be with a man as healthy and well balanced as I am. “The heights are not the problem”, right! Love is not the problem, and I am not un loveable. I know it intellectually but my subconscious seems to be stronger. I love this that you wrote: ” Perhaps it’s when you come to the realization that the point of life isn’t to be rich, or secure, or even to be loved β€” to be any of the things that people usually think is the point. The point of life is to live as deeply as possible, to experience fully. And that can be done in so many ways.”
    And since making this choice so many things appear, on almost a daily basis to encourage me to trust this longing to finally get out from under this pattern of pain. And maybe it is not about finding my “one true love” It is about learning to live life “as deeply as possible” And I agree totally -that can be done in so many ways.

    Today….it was your post that validated the pilgrimage I will do this fall to find and love myself without restraint. To live life as fully as possible. Thank you, fellow Fearless Woman!! Keep it coming!

    • Mare, your post brought tears to my eyes. I’ll be thinking of you on your pilgrimage. You strike me as so strong and smart and balanced, and you know what isn’t working for you, and what you need to work on. That’s a wonderful and difficult place to be. I’m sending you all good wishes, and I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time. Hugs, Dora

      • Mare says:

        πŸ™‚ Thank you for your well wishes Dora, I alternate between “what the heck have I just done??” and “I am so ecstatic!” on a daily basis. It helps so much to know there are other searching souls out there who take bold steps to challenge status quo~~ πŸ™‚ Warmly, Mare

  3. helen says:

    I too hope you will write that book!

    Mare, I read what you wrote and I know I’m a complete stranger to you but I just wanted to wish you all the best with your experience in Peru; your comment really touched me.

  4. Mare says:

    Thank you Helen so much, and even though we have never met, your encouragement is much appreciated and thank you for reading my thoughts πŸ™‚

  5. sarah says:

    That really is a wonderful novel concept, and definitely a truth for so many women – myself being one of them. I don’t know if it’s a matter of not being bothered anymore with all that tedious fear, a stronger sense of time running out, or a deepening of wisdom.

  6. kathleen says:

    See 2 interesting books:
    Ari Seth Cohen: Advanced Style and
    Alice Kaplan: Dreaming in French


  7. Please, please, please write that novel.

  8. csecooney says:

    I would read this book. It would have an honored place on my shelf. THE MALCONTENTS! What a faboosh title!

  9. Stace says:

    “Or rather, of falling β€” heights aren’t the problem. ”

    I’ve never heard anyone else express this subtle difference besides myself – people always look at me a little crazy when I say it, so I had to chime in just for that. But if you decide to write the book, I will definitely look forward to reading it.

    And then I read Mare’s comment, which really resonated with me. Afraid of falling – into love, into art, into life. I get that. Good luck on your journey, Mare!

  10. I’m already adding this novel to my TBR list of books.


  11. misswritten says:

    I wish you will get and experience everything that is necessary for you to write that novel. And I hope I will find it when it’s out there.

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