My Biggest Fear, and Greatest


   by Heather Mosier

What would it feel like to quit a job, pack one’s belongings, and move 100 miles away from everything a person ever knew? I lived in Atlanta, Georgia, for all of my twenty-one years. One day, I decided it was time for some dramatic changes. It was time for me to establish my independence, be a responsible adult, and go back to school to fulfill my dreams. How my dreams led me to the small town of Dalton, Georgia, was not only my worst fear but also my greatest accomplishment.

My life in Atlanta was wonderful until June 2003, when my battle with cervical cancer began. I was an independent twenty-one year old women who suddenly became a sick and helpless child in the eyes of my family and friends. This sudden news was quite certainly my greatest fear come true. Throughout the next five months of my life, I lived a tragedy that most people would consider a nightmare. The combination of cold skin from a freezing hospital room and the garlic taste of morphine in the back of my throat was unbearable. The tears that others always cried outside my door made me realize this was not the person I was going to be for the rest of my life.

My physical battle ended in October of that year. I was left unable to have children and heartbroken. I wanted to move on with my life and leave the pain behind. It seemed the only way to do that was moving away from the memories and doing something new and different. I want to work in an adoption agency one day, so I decided to study social work. Dalton State College is where I decided to begin this journey. I found a little townhouse and moved in the day after Christmas. Compared to Atlanta, the town of Dalton was nothing more than a field with some houses on it. At first, I hated this place. The people talked vaguely, everybody wanted to know where I was from, and I had no idea how to get around. On top of all that, I was lonely and homesick. I was completely out of my element. Returning to school was a terrifying thought after six years away. Needless to say, this was not at all what I imagined it to be.

As the months went by, I settled into my new life and things started changing. I stepped outside one evening, and the sky immediately caught my eye. I had never seen the stars that clear before. There were thousands of stars visible that I had never seen in Atlanta. The moon was so bright that it hurt my eyes. The air was so crisp and clean that every breath I took felt like I was cleansing my body. I was alone in a sea of stars. To my surprise, there was nowhere in the world I would rather be. The sense of warmth, security, and pride that came over me was like nothing I had ever felt before. What a wonderful, grown-up decision I had made.

So, here I am, in Dalton, Georgia. I am starting my second year of school, which will someday make my dream of working in an adoption agency come true. I have a beautiful, comfortable home, and I am proud of the responsibility I take on every day. I have finally grown up. My biggest fears were moving away from my home and being told that I may die. My greatest accomplishment was making my own home and being a proud cancer survivor.


This essay was written by Heather Mosier, then a freshman majoring in Social Work. It was written for Dr. Marsha Mathews’ ENGL 1101 class during spring 2004 semester.

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