Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Be Brave

Continuing some themes we seem to have going this week, I want to talk about being brave.

I don't think of myself as a particularly courageous person. I don't even like calling strangers on the phone. I'm terrified of spiders, I have dreams about going blind at least once a month, and I still run up the stairs really fast when it's dark in the basement. I get lightheaded in job interviews, I have panic attacks driving in the snow, and I covered my eyes during most of The Grudge.

So during the last year and a half there was a long series of events that led to me moving to Indiana. Most of those events involved my plans for my life falling through or not being what I thought they would be, and nothing worked until I decided I had to go away to grad school (rather than completing a program online while working at the BYU library, as was my original plan).

I wasn't completely sure I wanted to move across the country. I was terrified, and it was even worse when I got there and had to put my dad on a plane the next morning. I wanted nothing more than to get in my car and drive back home. My dad even told me that if I didn't like it by the time the tuition reimbursement deadline came up, I could drop my classes and come home. (Yeah. It was that bad.)

Thankfully, I stuck it out past the first few days. As it turns out, moving to Indiana was exactly what I needed. I'd been in the same place for a long time, and although it was fun and safe and familiar, I was really stuck. I wasn't really all that happy with where my life was, no matter how much I loved my roommates and loved being able to go home for birthday parties on the weekends; now I'm really happy.

And I guess that's the point of all of this. Sometimes you get stuck, and then you either have to be happy being stuck or you have to do something you're afraid to do - get a new job, move to a new place, start a new relationship, climb a mountain, run away to London, (I moved to Indiana only after I'd done that one twice), change your major, buy a puppy - scary stuff like that. And don't decide not to do it just because you never have or because it will be scary. I'm beginning to realize that some of my best decisions have been the ones I was most afraid to make.

I'm posting this video because this song is one of those that I like to listen to when I'm afraid to do something. The title is roughly, "No, I regret nothing." Even if you don't understand it (two years of college French and I still don't catch all of it), I think the feeling comes through just fine.

1 comment:

Katherine said...

When I was applying to grad school and trying to figure out where to move, my undergrad advisor gave me some of the best advice I've ever received: "Don't make a decision predicated on fear." It was exactly what I needed to hear, and it's what allowed me to decide to come to Michigan. I questioned and even regretted that choice for a long time when life (of course) didn't follow the plan I'd outlined to make myself feel okay about the change, but it was the right thing to do. I'm still figuring out all the reasons why, and I'm still not sure if this is what I want to spend the rest of my life doing, but I love this place and the people I've met here and the ways I've seen myself grow and change.

I also can't help but think of something Shannon talked about when I lived with her. During a particularly hard period, her dad told her she should do one thing every day that scared her. She's done it every day since, and what an impact--she's one of the bravest, best people I know.

Which is all just to say... yes. Yes to being brave and doing scary things.