Making life an adventure requires we face our fears. I cannot describe how unnerving it has been to leave dance. I am often overwhelmed with discomfort as I question who the heck I am without that lifelong persona to give reason to my existence. It is like freefalling. You may be wearing a parachute, but until its open and your feet land softly on the ground, there is an unyielding anxiety connected to the thrill of flying. You marvel at the wind on your face, but you also long for the security of standing firmly on familiar ground.
Anyway, I am in a stage of life where fears do not faze me so much, because the thing I fear most is being too comfortable, not taking risks, and falling into routine because it is simply too much trouble or too much discomfort to ask for more from life. I am aware of the clock ticking and time running out on my one shot at living. And I guess I’m jealous. I read books or watch movies and feel that if I’m not careful, life will pass me by. The world is full of amazing stories of amazing experiences and amazing people. But I don’t want to be a perpetual audience to life. I want to be a part of the remarkable diversity, and sample life first hand.
Nevertheless, there are days I wonder if my choices are not a sign of some deep seeded frustration, dissatisfaction with life in general for reasons that can’t be easily defined. Luckily, most often, I am excited by the unconventional choices (such as forgoing college to move to New York at eighteen, dancing despite the fact that it was not a “practical career”, getting my degrees later in life, writing despite the odds of success, leaving a business I spent years building and the great income for what is really an unknown… etc.) Nevertheless, despite the fact that sometimes my choices were difficult to explain and/or defied logic, I’ve always followed my heart. This way, at least life has never been boring. I’ve had lots of practice swallowing doubt as I forged towards something I believed was right for me. Haven’t always been successful, mind you, but I’ve never failed to make a play for something I considered important. Now that I’m in my ripe middle age, I’m glad I have learned the benefits of stepping boldly into areas I’ve never considered before. It isn’t about needing guaranteed success, but about trying. No regrets this way. Moreover, I never think, “I could have been (or had) . . . . ” Honestly, I believe if we have it in us to be “more”, we make it happen. Circumstance, opportunity, or the other people in our life have nothing to do with it. We create our world exactly the way we want it deep down, and you can argue until your blue in the face that you wish things were different, but that isn’t true. Things can always be different. You just have to want it enough.
Anyway, my attitude about life nowadays, is honoring discovery – not just embracing a new view of life, but a new view of myself as well. It is so difficult to shed our self-definition – We get to a point in life where we insist, “This is who I am and I rather not question it, because it took years to figure out. Take me as I am.”
However, another (different) attitude can be, “I am what I am because of the influences I’ve encountered in life, and now I will thrust new influences into the mix to see what else is inside.”
The fact is, you don’t have to be “unhappy” to want more. Happiness comes in degrees. I think sometimes being “comfortable” is the worst thing that can happen to a person. It makes putting off action so much easier. And you wake up one day realizing that in the end, it was simply too much trouble to create a more vibrant life. You settled for the familiar because it made you “happy enough”.
I am on a tangent, and this is a poor introduction to my subject today. Pardon me. I must have woken up with my philosophical gene raging. Where was I going with this? I planned to talk about bees. Perhaps I’ll start again. I’ll close this blog and begin a bee blog from a different angle.
See what I mean? When you discover you are on the wrong path, all you must do is admit the error and change course. What you leave behind may even be good, but that doesn’t mean it is right.
Ginny,By far this is one of my favorites. You hit the nail on the head. Especially about getting comfortable. I think that happens to a lot of us. Thanks for the wisdom!
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