Sometimes I sit and contemplate what drives me to an embark on the adventures I do. Why do I kayak, and toss myself off bridges, and rock climb, and jump out of airplanes? Ultimately, I think, it’s about embracing the unknown. The unknown, however, is typically associated with the word fear. Fear of the unknown – a very dubious place for most. I, however, see adventure as experience. If I remain fearful of the unknown, and live in the “what if’s”, I will remain stuck in the same place, instead of stepping out to experience all that life has to offer me, and all that I have to offer life in return. And that is not how I choose to live today.
Please know, that I didn’t always thrive on the unknown; in all actuality, it terrified me. I remember the day when I realized this. I was a freshly-sober young lady who had just entered an entirely new phase of her life. Sobriety was something I didn’t know, and I feared it. I feared finding friends, living outside the rehabilitation center I was currently housed in, working, etc. I feared it all, because I didn’t know what to do or how to do it. There I sat, in a red chair in the Executive Director of the rehab’s office, paralyzed by fear. He explained to me that fear could mean either of two things for me: “F**k Everything And Run”, or “Face Everything And Recover”. He told me that “what if’s” were paralyzing me, but that they shouldn’t, because most of my worst fears would never come to fruition.
I walked out of his office with a new outlook on life. I decided, from that day on, that I would no longer be afraid of the unknown. That, instead, I would embrace it with curiosity and excitement – truly welcome the experience, whatever it might be. And, most importantly, to learn from the outcome. You see, I don’t believe in bad days – just learning days. I vowed that day to live my life – not merely exist.
Life, for me, is meant to be enjoyed and explored, not feared. There are experiences out there that are accessible to everyone if we can just navigate through the unwarranted fears, and trust in the process. I look at each obstacle, each difficult situation that I come across, as an opportunity to grow and learn, and maybe even gift me with a good story to tell others.
What’s your fear holding you back from?