Walking on the Edge

by Anne-Sophie

in Blog

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?

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Micheal January 22, 2012 at 5:12 pm

True… to live the life the fullest , one must walk on the edge of their life..

Nicely Written :)

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Anne-Sophie January 23, 2012 at 9:12 am

I agree with you, Michael.

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John Cina January 22, 2012 at 5:51 pm

wooow.. you inspired me with this post.. love you for that :)

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Anne-Sophie January 23, 2012 at 9:04 am

Wow, thanks, John! Inspiration is such an important part of moving forward. So, I hope that you will shift your focus and start living to the fullest today. :)

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Micaela January 25, 2012 at 3:33 pm

This is all very true… Expieriences such as these can have such a vital role in everybody’s lives. A moment for me was when I went rock-climbing with my step-father. When I was right near the top of the climb (15 meters above him and on a cliff) I was in such a tricky situation, my arms were shaking and I could not hold on anymore. He told me to jump (ropes attached) and so I did and it felt like I was taking a giant leap of faith. The rope caught me. It was an amazing expierience. I learned to trust and the ability to not think about or worry about your next meal, but actually thinking about your next step up. It removed me for that moment from my eating disorder…

Thank you for everything Anne-Sophie

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Micaela January 25, 2012 at 4:03 pm

This is all so true… Expieriences such as these can play such a vital role in everybody’s lives. A moment when I has a similar expierience was when I was rock-climbing with my step-father. I was close to the top of the climb (15 meters from him and on a cliff) and I got stuck in a very tricky situation, my arms were shaking and I could not hold on anymore! He told me to jump and so I did and it felt as though I was doing a giant leap of faith. My heart was pounding and soon the ropes caught me and I caught my breath. It was an amazing expierience and it taught me 2 things; to trust and the ability not to think about or worry about my next meal, but to think about my next step up. For this moment I completly disconnected myself from my eating disorder… I felt so alive. It is moments like these which I aim to cherish…

Thank you Anne-Sophie for everything that you have done to make a difference in the lives of others :)

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Anne-Sophie January 26, 2012 at 7:59 am

Micaela, thank you so much for your comment. It is true, moments like this give you so much confidence and you start to trust in yourself and your ability to act beyond your fears. I love your courage and I hope that you will experience many more of those victories in your life.

Hugs, my friend.

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Anonymous March 26, 2012 at 3:38 am

Thank you for sharing this Anne-Sophie. It struck a cord with me. It’s my 3rd attempt back at uni and although I would like to be a primary teacher, I’m struggling with the stress of it all. It seems my anorexia and depression only intensify when I study. But I really want to just finish this course so that I can have a good, sensible job, financial security and prove to myself that I’m not stupid and hopeless. So to read your article about there being another way was so refreshing. Society’s definitions of success and achievement are like weights on your shoulders. But we can brush these off and follow what WE actually want to do and know what will make us happy. And when we are living inline with our values and passsion, it is then that we can help others and make our own corner of the world a better place. Thank again

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Anne-Sophie March 29, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Hi,

thanks a lot for your comment. Yes, society has its tendencies to wear us down and try to define what success is for us. Since I stopped following what others wanted, I am so much more happy and stable. I can only highly suggest that if you struggle so hard with your studies to check in with yourself and make a decision. Sometimes we have to decide between health and a job and the decision has to be in favor of health. Anorexia is a hard monster to beat and you need all your energy to do that. I hope you can take some time for yourself to really explore what you want to do in life. You don’t have to go to university to be happy and successful. There are many other ways to do that. Big hugs!
Anne-Sophie recently posted..Give Yourself a BreakMy Profile

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