Stella Leventoyannis Harvey

No Guts, No Glory  

It’s true. I’m anxious. I know it doesn’t show. I’m standing tall, moving through the gathering, stopping here and there to give my thanks, connect with those who support the craziness I foist upon them. Smile in place. Check. Handshakes. Appropriate nods. Blink. Smile again. Check. Move on. Greet. smile. Repeat.

This may make me sound shallow. I’m just preoccupied with all the small details. I guess that is what I’m trying to say or show.

I would prefer to be in the background, fiddling, worrying, and making sure everything comes off smoothly, but as chief bottle washer, I can’t hide. I can’t even run. We’re here because of me. Or I should say, we’re here because of an idea I had.

 It all starts off so well. I utter those words that make grown men (or at least my husband) scurry. “I have an idea.” Frightening words to all those who know me. At this early stage of planning, scheming, and dreaming I imagine how wonderful my pintsize concept, brought to fruition, will be. Consequences be damned. 

That idea then morphs into action. Pretty soon another event is organized.

The waiting begins. Will they come? I built it. Now will they come?

Then, time seems to pass slowly (or is it ticket sales). Suddenly time speeds up. Can’t I have another week to garner more support? Strong arm. Encourage. Nudge.

It’s show time. Is everything ready? Will they come? There’s that awful question.

Other questions come to mind. Will they like the show? And how much of this has to do with people liking me? Hm. That sounds very Freudian. Or something. Perhaps I’ll save that for another blog.

In the part of me that no one sees, I know I’m not myself in the midst of an event. I call this state I’m in, my oh-my-God-what-have-I done-now madness.

The person standing across from me has just said something. From the look in her eyes, and the way she’s leaned towards me, I know she expects a response, but I haven’t heard the question.


She repeats the question. This time I pay attention and respond. She seems satisfied. I move along. I crawl back inside my worrying brain, the one trying to think ahead, make contingency plans for every possible eventuality. If I stay one step ahead of disaster, well, I’ll be one step ahead. Won’t I? It will all work out fine. Or at least that’s what I tell myself. It keeps me going.

My palms sweat. My stomach dips, rolls, and dips again. I bite the inside of my cheek. Still I keep the smile fixed. Then the phrase that gets me into trouble every single time floats through my brain, not to reassure or strengthen, but rather to mock me. “No guts, no glory.”

I hear that phrase every time I take on a new project, venture into the unfamiliar, the unknown. Those words seem to propel me into action, push me to pursue every cockamamie idea I have. Who knows where these words come from, but they seem to have burrowed inside my brain, my heart.  And they are here to stay.

I don’t even do it for the glory. So why do I do it? Who knows? I like people. I like organizing. I like bringing people together through organized events. I have ideas. So sue me.

Sometimes my ideas work as I initially pictured them. Occasionally, the realizing of said idea is even better than the original concept. Other times, not so much. But nothing gets done without an idea, without effort, without guts.

Oh, God, here it comes again. Only a glimmer at first. Then a full-fledged thought, elbowing it’s way into a notion, then a complete idea.  Run for cover. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.


Thinking Image                Thinking Child 2


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