Heffalumps and Woozles

Fortune favours the bold or in the original Latin, Audentes Fortuna Iuvat, which literally translates to “Fortune helps those daring.”

This is a thought that my mind always circles around to from time to time. It doesn’t matter how long I’ve been off and away being brave and doing great things, eventually I will decide I wasn’t brave enough. Really, this is usually because something doesn’t go my way, or I feel I’ve missed an opportunity, or didn’t see the sign, or sat back when I should have leaped.

It seems just so much easier to slink away, turn your back, or keep your mouth shut. I don’t know about you, but for me, its one of those things I’ve tried to be aware of. After I finished university and set out on the ‘real world’ part of my life I found I struggled with the idea of who I wanted to be, where I wanted to end up, and every other big life questions you can think of. In this search I found that, you can’t really know. Or at least, I’m not wired that way. I can tell you what I want in 5 months, but in 5 years? I’m more comfortable with a go with the flow lifestyle.

That said, I started to notice habits, or comforts, where I thought, if you keep this up, you will never get where you want to go. You have to be bolder than that.

I think as you grow up you start to scoff off society’s demands a little more every year, realizing you’d be happier if you just passionately went for whatever it was you wanted. I mean, look at elderly people in the gym. They’re shameless. They’ll do whatever they want as quickly or slowly as they want, wearing anything they want and are they the least bit bothered? Not. Even. Almost.

But being bold is scary. It’s so fucking scary. It means making yourself do the one thing that has every part of your being screaming ‘run for your life you fool.’ But I can tell you from experience that I am always more disappointed for not trying than for trying and failing. When I walk away from something because I was too scared to give it a go, I struggle with regret. But rarely do I think, I wish I hadn’t tried.

So how do we do the scary things in life? I’ve found one way to do the scary thing is to put yourself in a situation where you literally cannot avoid it. Register for something, pay your money to bungee jump, or agree to doing it with a friend. Commit in a ‘I’ve already invested too much to not do it’ way.

I remember when I moved to Europe for school. I was so excited about it, nervous but so excited. I didn’t really consider the fear when I went through the lengthy application process, paid my fees, bought my plane ticket, or even boarded the plane.

Sure I was nervous, and I think I knew I was a little scared, but that made it fun. It wasn’t until I boarded my connecting flight from London, Heathrow to Schipol, Amsterdam. I was alone and everyone was speaking Dutch. My mind raced, “what have I done?? I’m doomed.” I was set to land in Amsterdam at 10pm, again, alone, in the dark. Then I had to attempt to take the train to catch a bus, all while tugging along all my possessions. I nearly broke down in tears from the fear. But I couldn’t avoid that fear. Realistically, it was nothing. I caught a cab and had a great night’s sleep in the hotel I had booked months prior.

But how do we push ourselves to get past our fears when we don’t have to? I don’t really have an answer for that. I find some fears a lot easier to overcome. But I guess what it comes down to is you have to want your end goal more than you are scared of the process it will take you to get there. I, personally, hate the idea of not doing things out of fear so a lot of times my fear is motivation enough. But when it isn’t I’m going to try really hard to just leaping jump, two feet into what my mind is telling me will be a complete and utter disaster.

Because, it probably won’t be. And if it is, I’ll probably learn a lot of very valuable lessons.

So, I guess I’ll book that tattoo appointment. (Just kidding Mom.)

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