During our trip to Australia back in early December, my husband and I stumbled into this crazy thing called The Edge.
What is The Edge, you ask?
Well, The Edge is a glass cube that projects 3 meters out from one of the skyscrapers, Skydeck 88, of Melbourne. You are almost 300 meters above the ground and you feel like there’s no security around you whatsoever.
It was thrilling and terrifying at the same time, especially since we’re both scared of heights. I have no idea what possessed us to go ahead and do it.
Maybe we wanted to proof something to ourselves? Maybe we wanted to show the other one that we are fearless? Were we being brave or just totally out of our minds?
I am not sure, but we looked our fear in the eye and just went for it.
And the reward was beyond words. Seeing Melbourne from this angle was incredible. I’ll never regret shoving my fear aside and taking a risk to experience something truly unforgettable.
Have you ever just let go of your fears and gone all the way? Or have you always played it safe?
For the longest time, I was a believer of walking the path of security. I thought that life was supposed to be a boring stream of work days, only accentuated by a few nice vacations. I thought that I would face a future with work that I, at best, tolerated.
I went through high school going through the motions, I was constantly bored and frustrated, dreading every day. But I endured and did my best knowing (falsely) that the grades I got now would determine my future success.
There was never a doubt in my mind that I would go to university. But when the time for signing up for classes approached, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I didn’t want a life of conformity, I wanted to travel, learn different languages, be creative, learn about design, have adventures and be the boss over my own time.
I thought theology was interesting, medicine sounded enticing, Media and English Literature were closer to my passions, but nothing really grabbed my imagination.
Unsurprisingly, I never made it past a few semesters of attending university. So, I never got the degree that promised me a secure future. But for those few years, the future looked quite a bit dull.
Life has its ways of course-correcting and I assume that the force with which my anorexia erupted once again in fall of 2010 was a sign that something had to change.
I had to give up attending university in order to undergo treatment and I had no intention of ever going back.
Not that my university days were that bad. I picked up a bit of Latin, listened to incredible lectures by famous theologists, learned some interesting facts about media history in general and television history in particular. But there was something gnawing at me and I just had to figure out what this sentiment meant.
So, I wrestled with myself (and my family) and I decided to not return to classes. Ultimately, I just did not want to spend another 3 years or so studying subject areas that did not fulfill me in order to have a paper on my wall.
Nonetheless, there still was a certain fear involved in making that decision.
By giving up university, I would simultaneously give up all chances of having a career and a successful life. By not getting a degree, I would surely never be respected by my family. By choosing a different path, I would ultimately always be the odd one out. No matter what I do in life, my salary will never be as high as it could have been by finishing my studies. And what if, after all the struggles, I will eventually find joy in knowing that I have something to fall back on?
Despite these thoughts, I felt the urge to go ahead. What gave me the final push, the one that made me throw all (supposed) securities away?
It was the simple question of what I wanted my life to look like. Did I want to work in just another job for just another corporation, dreading every work day, but receiving a salary? Or did I want to follow my own path and walk on the edge, always pushing myself forward in order to be the best me and do the best work I could possibly do?
The answer is simple, at least for me.
It may have been the harder choice because finding ways to earn money by staying true to your passions and your inner voice never is easy, but it is certainly a path that will lead to a fulfilling life. And, quite frankly, it is so much more FUN.
I want to live my life with an excitement and a joy that I have missed so far and I want to constantly walk on the edge, because, of this I am certain, brilliant work can not emerge from someone who is not passionate and driven. Not having a fixed income forces you to work even harder and be even more creative and this is what I am good at, this is what my life is supposed to be about. I want to be proud of what I am doing and actually make a (albeit small) change in this world. And as I am typing this, I am doing just that.
Tell me, what is your story? When did you ever let go of your fears and simply let go?