the free and the brave

the summer before my brain surgery, i decided i was going to be all brave and daring and crazy and really live. i didn’t know what life would be like after surgery, or even for certain whether there would be life for me on this planet after surgery. so i did some fun things outside my comfort zone. it felt good to go beyond my realm of familiarity. i survived surgery, and life continued on.

last year i can think of two things that were outside my comfort zone (there might have been more, but i only remember two right now). i climbed the 533 steps of the cologne cathedral. i’m afraid of heights. terribly. the second thing was that i was a lead character in a play with three people total. i’d never been a real lead performer of that kind before. i’d never had that kind of responsibility as an actor. i’d almost never been anything other than the kind, motherly figure (there was that one time i wore a fake nose and was a cockney-accented screeching wife of a giant, though). i was terrified.

but those are only two things.

earlier this year i was at a party where people were playing a karaoke-style singing game. i arrived after several people had already gone, and a friend who was there said “it would be good to hear you sing.” “eh, i’m not very good at this,” i said. singing in public by myself makes me nervous. i performed two songs by myself at a coffeehouse earlier this year and almost wanted to back out because of my nerves.

i don’t do things that scare me. and i think it’s time this stops.

there are some things that just aren’t smart to do. i’m not talking about those things. i’m talking about things like singing in public, or dancing, or … well, other things i don’t normally do because they make me nervous or uncomfortable. i don’t want to live my whole life giving into my fears, though. i don’t want safety at the cost of living.

i have a poster hanging in my room with a quote by helen keller: “life is either a great adventure or nothing.” and then i have another quote by eleanor roosevelt: “do one thing every day that scares you.”

God made us to live on this grand adventure of knowing Him. and living is what i want to do.

so here’s my challenge to you: challenge me.

encourage me to do something outside my comfort zone. something specific. pick something, and challenge me to do it, if you know (or think) i don’t like it or it scares me. (but no bungee jumping, for health reasons.)

dare me, if you have to.

or, holy cow, do it with me, whatever it is (misery loves company, and if it scares us both we’ll both be miserable and learn how to get over it).

i’m almost 25. i’ve realized over the last few weeks and months how much time i waste being afraid.

so here’s to really living. will you come on this great adventure with me?