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Holly Brantley
Holly BrantleyAuthor + Adventurer + Student of the Universe
Today’s perfectly Innocent Postcard is brought to you by an adept author who had already written a trilogy of novels by the ripe old age of 17. Holly Brantley was in my first class of sixth graders, and in the fall of this year, she’ll be flying the coop to study Creative Writing and Literature at North Carolina State University. In addition to being a brilliant writer, Holly is a daring Agent of Eris who never lets fear stand in the way of a good adventure. During her high school years, she performed in school plays and ran the Media Office like a boss, creating a parody of The Office while she was at it because of course she did! Thanks so much for sharing your savvy, Holly!

The steps you take don’t need to be big. They just need to take you in the right direction.

Jemma Simmons

The first time I ever heard this quote, I paused the TV. Although Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, the show it came from, has been known to sneak a life lesson in here and there, this one in particular stuck with me. I’ve adopted the phrase into my own language, shortening it slightly to “They don’t have to be big steps, just in the right direction,” and I repeat it to myself like a mantra every time I get discouraged.

I’m an eighteen-year-old woman, and I’m told every single day, directly and indirectly, that the world is my oyster. That’s great and everything, but do you know how terrifying that is? Sure, the world might be my oyster, but do I necessarily want a pearl? What if I want a ruby or a diamond or an emerald? What if I want a pearl today and a sapphire tomorrow?

I’m a lover of knowledge, and the thought of being stuck doing one thing my entire life sounds like torture. So, the question is what do you do when you don’t know what you want to do?

For me, the answer is writing. I’ve loved to write since I could pick up a pencil, and my love has only grown as I’ve gotten older. As a writer, you have an “excuse” (not that you necessarily need one) to discover and learn about everything because everything should be written about. For me, writing is not only an escape, but also a way that I can put myself in other people’s shoes, whether they’re real or not.

I think that people who write do so because they feel a connection with the world and humanity as a whole. I know I do. I write because I want to be the microphone for those with a soft voice.

With that being said, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit I get discouraged or frustrated sometimes. Let’s be honest, no matter what your calling might be, sometimes you might not be able to see the whole staircase leading up to your goal. Sometimes you just see a couple of steps, and sometimes it’s pitch black and you’re holding onto the railing so tight that your knuckles turn white.

That’s okay.

Sometimes you don’t need to see the whole staircase, or even any of it, you just need to be brave enough to take a step up. Sometimes you just need to take a single step in the right direction, and you need to understand that it’s enough. Progress is progress, no matter how small.