Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Day 15: Life's a lesson

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.  Security does not exist in nature." 

The words of Helen Keller, and ones which my mum shared with me last year as I was preparing to embark on a daring adventure of my own*.

Like most people, I like to feel safe and secure.  But my inclination is often to avoid risk so thoroughly that I end up doing... nothing.  There is a Midlake song which contains the line, "I'd like to go home and stay out of sight for a long time," and that is often how I feel.  Safe in my little house, with music playing and books to read and a duvet to snuggle beneath.  No scary outside world, no having to connect with people, no having to overcome my shyness.  Some days I find just leaving the house and no longer being "out of sight" difficult. 

Luckily, I am generally pretty good at forcing myself out of my comfort zone.  At recognising that, as scary as it might be, I'd rather have the daring adventure than the illusion of security.  I've travelled a lot on my own, backpacking through South Africa, crossing America by train.  But the big things are often less nerve-wracking than the small; going to a party where I know almost no-one or meeting someone for a blind date**.  When something feels too much or too scary, when I feel overwhelmed by a situation or am finding it difficult to cope, I focus on the daring adventure and it makes it easier to take a deep breath and take the risk.

*an adventure that did not happen in the end, but that's another story.

** It terrifies me how close I came to cancelling my first date with The Boy because I was so nervous.  All I wanted, as I walked to the bus stop, was to return to the imagined security of my living room.  Thank goodness I chose the 'daring adventure' that time!


  1. This really struck a chord with me... I'm the kind of person who doesn't seem to do anything daring... I avoid roller coasters like the plague and dating is literally hell as far as I'm concerned. Maybe I'm missing out, but I really would prefer to curl up ay home with a cuppa than put myself 'at risk'!

    1. Totally true! I found dating utterly hellish - I must have cancelled as many dates at the last minute as I ever went on. Whenever I'm about to put myself 'out there', the ever-present thought of being curled up on my sofa tries to tempt me back home. I reckon I'm successful in ignoring it about 60% of the time.

  2. Little things are the scarriest! I'm always so scared to go to a party if I don't know that many people, but if I actually go there, it's usually amazing :)

    Good thing that you actually did go on the date with The Boy, see what you've got now!