My sister bought me a teapot. It’s made of glass and it’s one of those special teapots were you can put the tea leaves in the top and then fill it with hot water and watch the tea infuse with little swirls of brown or green or yellow.
She told me she thought I would find it relaxing as I worked, and she knew I was a big tea drinker. It was a really thoughtful and amazing present.
Pretty sure I forgot to get her a present that year too.
Here’s the problem though: I was too scared to use it.
The first time I tried it, I chipped the top and glass shards fell into the teapot. I was too enthusiastic with the lid. Cleaning it was a nightmare because all the tea leaves stayed inside and refused to come out and I was sure that the teapot would just smash in my hands if I tried to wash it.
I didn’t use it again for about three years. In fact, I left it at my parent’s house so I didn’t have to carry it around with me, just in case I broke this wonderful, fragile thing that meant so much to me, but that I was too clumsy to use.
I left it in its box where it grew dusty and unused on top of a cupboard.
A few weeks ago, I was back at my parents’ house and my partner (very sneakily) put it into a bag and brought it back to our house. I now have a glass teapot in my kitchen.
I suspect it doesn’t like me for the way I have treated it.
I’ve come to the realisation that I haven’t done a lot of things in my life because I was too scared. I haven’t travelled much because I was scared of not being able to understand foreign languages. I haven’t written my children’s book because I’m scared that I’ve already written all I can in that genre and wasted it writing under someone else’s name. I’m scared because… well, it’s that ever-haunting question:
So, I’m going to take a deep breath and I am going to use the teapot. I’m going to be gentle and slow and I’m going to watch the tea infuse and I’m going to have a cup of tea.
Then… who knows? We shall see.