Change is scary. Change is uncertain. Fear of change is what keeps us clinging to past mistakes and bad habits simply because they are familiar. Fears paralyzes us to stay where we are at, instead of moving forward into the unknown. Because it is the unknown and not change that we are truly afraid of. Change is only the vessel with which we are forced to face the unknown. The unknown is this place where we fill inadequate and unprepared, and maybe worst of all – powerless to control our own destiny.
So we stay. We avoid the unknown, because here may not be great, but at least we know what to expect. Here we are prepared; we are in control. Here is comfortable; it is safe.
I don’t think we ever truly conquer our fears. I don’t think we are suppose to. Fear is there for a reason, and it isn’t going to go away. No, we will never truly conquer fear, but we can become more comfortable with it. We can learn to embrace it instead of run from it. We can learn to stop letting our fear get in the way of our own happiness.
In the last five years, I have done many things that I would have never believed myself capable of. I was certain that there was no way that I could do something that bold or that brave. But I did. I was scared at every step, but I slowly started to learn that maybe I had no idea my limits of what I could do.
My great unknowns still scare me. However, I am learning that my great unknowns hold some of the best experiences of my life. They are just waiting there, waiting for me to have the courage to reach out and live them.
The last year has been pretty comfortable for me. That isn’t too say that it wasn’t hard, simply that I felt the most settled I have ever felt in life. But I can’t stay here. I was not made to stay here. 2016 is gone, and 2017 is likely to look much different. 2017 involves me quitting my job, putting a couple more stamps on my passport, and starting law school. I would be lying if I didn’t admit I was scared. That is my great unknown, and it is daunting. I am not going to run from that fear. I am going to embrace it, and pull myself closer to being the person I want to be.
Whatever your 2017 holds, whatever your great unknown is, I hope you embrace it. I hope you learn that you are strong, capable, and brave. I hope you have moments in which you find yourself pulling closer to the person you know yourself to be. I hope you learn that your limits are far wider than you ever thought they could be.
“What we have to remember is that we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over.”
“We can’t, we MUST not loose this sense of possibility because in the end, it’s all we have.”
– The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan
Photo Credit: Lori Rensink