In life, we make choices. Many based on our fears of the unknown. Some let the fears take control of their decisions, while others explore the very things that frighten them. The saying, “test the waters,” always comes to mind. How can you really experience something if you’ll only commit to dunking a toe in? Not possible. I picture the women at the pool who do their hair and make-up. On a good day, they may dangle their legs in the water. If they’re feeling ballsy, they might wade into the shallow end. But I’ll be damned if they even consider getting that mane wet. Fully submerging. Opening their eyes to what lies beneath. They’re missing out on all the fun because they’re afraid of that mask they wear washing away. My theory in life; hop in a boat and row to the deepest waters you can find, then strip down ass naked and do a cannonball. Screw testing the water. Dive right in. Of course you take a chance of cold water or a creepy fish encounter. But would you rather just admire the surface? Or explore the unknown world beneath? I gotta know what’s down there. And more often than not, its terrifying and beautiful and mysterious, all at the same time.
Like everybody else, I have fears. And I’m a complete control freak. A couple of years ago my history of running from commitment and avoiding failure began to wear on me. For a period of time, I wasn’t happy, and I allowed myself to be comfortable with a my lack of enthusiasm for life. I’d settled for a monotonous routine that wasn’t satisfying. It became too much to bear so I proceeded to let my fears go. Close my eyes and do a front one-and-a-half with a full twist into the deep end.
First, I allowed myself to fall in love with somebody seemingly far from my norm. My male targets had previously been those who I believed cared just slightly more about me than I did about them. I could manipulate the relationship. This was safe. I was in control. I lacked vulnerability in the situation and it gave me an unhealthy sense of security. In this new situation I had to forgo the raft and swim to him. And now we’re married and happier than ever.
Next, I gave up a hobby I’d been involved with for almost a decade. I’d lost the passion, but continued to forge on because I felt obligated. The fulfillment wasn’t there, it began to feel like a chore, and I was doing everybody involved a disservice. I knew it was best for me to pull away. So after much procrastination and contemplation, I did just that. It was like stepping away from a baby pool and onto the shores of an ocean filled with opportunities. I’d removed my limitations and left myself no excuses for trying something new.
So finally, I committed to a business. Something that would require hard work for the rest of my life. My initial fear was spreading myself too thin. For the weight of my commitment to drown me. I had nerves about underperforming in my career because this side venture might consume me. I worried about not having enough time for my kids. And then there was the chance of failure; letting my friends and husband (my business partners) down. Turns out, taking a chance on something I’m so passionate about has simply made me more eager for new challenges. I’m more motivated than ever. My business is my vacation, my hobby, and my playground. The weight of commitment that made me so nervous helped me become stronger and better.
In the past year, I had my second child (which I said I’d never do), got married (which I said I’d never do), stuck with a career I love (which I thought I’d never find), started a business (which I didn’t think I was capable of), built a house (which freaked me out - the suburbs scared me), and somehow found my happiness (which I’d never allowed myself to do). Crazy…yes. Overwhelming…yes. But it’s all been a perfectly positive journey, even when choppy waters and electric eels approach. And the best part is that there’s so much more to see and I have no way of knowing what lies ahead. I just know I can’t wait to continue swimming forward, diving down, and mapping my exploration. So like I said. Be bold, and be bare. Get naked with no hesitation. Step to the edge. And with all the enthusiasm in the world, push aside the fear and jump in. A whole new world awaits you.