Today my husband and I moved out of our temporary apartment and into the hotel that will serve as the final “staging point” for our departure to Japan.
We’ve (mostly) packed our suitcases…
and the international delivery service will show up Monday morning to take them away. If everything goes according to plan, by the time that happens we’ll have taken our cat Oobie to the vet and be starting our drive to Los Angeles, with plans to fly to Japan on Tuesday morning.
Our first flight is scheduled to leave Los Angeles at 6am, and I’m looking forward to watching the sun rise from the plane. (Most likely, while listening to Oobie express her distinct disapproval of our travel plans.)
She’s not a fan of the carrier.
Although I’m excited about returning to Japan and beginning the 100 Summits climbs, my brain swings back and forth between that excitement and abject terror. Among the reasons I decided to undertake the 100 Summits Project were to pursue my lifelong dream of climbing and writing in Japan, while also facing my fear of living a life that wasn’t “safe, secure, and expected.”
For many years, I was too afraid to consider pursuing a dream this big. I thought “adulting” required me to remain entirely tethered, placing security before excitement and stability before my dreams.
Breast cancer taught me that security and stability are illusions.
That’s not to say life can’t be secure and stable, in its way. I’m not rushing off to Japan without a plan (though admittedly, the plan now only reaches a few months in advance – I’m learning to live in the “now” instead of the “never” or the “future consequences”). That said, I’m teaching myself to focus on the moment instead of the future, and on the importance of living my dreams while I have the health and capacity to chase them.
All of which said, I’m also discovering that fear of the unknown doesn’t dissipate just because you decide to pursue your dreams. If anything, the monster grows in size and strength – at least in the beginning. (I’ll let you know as the weeks go by if that changes, and how I learn to manage–and hopefully master–that fear.)
Even so, I refuse to surrender. I’m on the verge of a wonderful adventure–and I hope you’ll join me every step of the way.
Do you struggle with fear in connection to your dreams? What frightens you? And how do you manage fear?
One thought on “Countdown to Japan and the Hundred Summits!”
Dearest Ms Spann,
How does Jorie handle fear? She ploughs through it head-on! Honestly, though I truly do – without my faith which I’ve leant on during all times of crisis (personal, family, health, etc) and a willingness to remain optimistic without allowing the trials and tribulations of life leave me jaded, pessimistic or without the Hope of tomorrow – one thing I have endeavoured to do is to rise to meet my fears, settle my doubts with renewed confidence of self and to persevere even if the only option in the ‘moment’ of living is blindly stepping forward without a net. It’s hard to see what tomorrow will bring when your caught in a currents of ‘today’ where everything feels like it’s weighed down against you, where the odds are never stacked in your favour and if you start to question *everything!* all at once, you’ll slowly lose your mental health because that’s where fear can overtake everything which makes you strong, secure and faithful.
Without delving into a lot of examples as I’ve have had more than my fair share of arduous circumstances and events affecting me throughout my life, I’ll relate a lighter story. The one behind ‘the girl’ and her ‘blog’. When I first set-out to create my blog, Jorie Loves A Story it was with such a humbled intention of purpose I never truly saw what it was going to blossom into being now as a 5th Year Book Blogger. In essence, taking that first leap was without the ‘fear’ of being ‘online’ and leading a quasi-public life outside of my private one. When I joined Twitter the fear grew as did the humbling awareness of how interconnected we’ve all become to one another and how by placing our hearts and spirits on the line everyday we blog, tweet or interface with someone – there is a strong chance something could be misinterpreted or misunderstood.
Yet, I kept tweeting, blogging and chatting. I decided to take my Mum’s advice when I first asked her how to handle this online life I was developing for myself and by effect, sharing bits of myself as a writer and as a creator (there is a heap of things blogged about more than the stories I’m reading if people read my blog intuitively as I’ve written it) – I chose to remain vulnerable. To remain open to the possibilities of where this journey would lead me and to take the time to recognise others who were either on a similar path or a complimentary one – such as fellow writers, musicians, actors, illustrators – all the lovely spirits and souls I interact with socially (ie. Twitter) whilst keeping an eye on the book blogosphere as well.
Fear is a challenge we all must face – in small and big ways – it sneaks up on us, it attempts to overtake us but it is always how we set our attitude to approach life as it’s being lived which benefits the most in the long run. We might have days where we’re muddling through or not really making it at all – some days you just feel like going back to sleep, turning off the world and blocking out the hours as something is affecting you to such a degree the absence of thought and conscience and emotional connectivity would be a blessing. Other days, you might feel renewed in both spirit, mind and heart – you see the Light shining in the world and the rougher edges are not as presentable as before or perhaps, fear has lost the daily battle for your attention to where your standing stronger than you were the day before.
I think it’s brilliant your undertaking such a risk as to challenge yourself to do something you’d rather stop planning or projecting to be ‘something’ of a future exploration – on a personal note, from someone who has done a heap of research into her own ‘future’, there comes a point where you want to stop sorting through what ‘could be’ and opt to ‘simply live’ in the hours you have to do whatever it is your lead to be doing right *now*. Life blinks past us – if we can find a way to emerge through our emotional strife and find the internal tranquility of where we are seeking spiritual renewal and a more confident self leading us forward to where the tomorrows are still being written – we’ve succeeded.
Because at the end of the day – we all have to be living authentic to who we are, what drives our passions and what renews the humbled curiosity of our dreams. Dreams are so dearly important to each of us, as they allow us to see past the present in such a way as to reinvent what is considered impossible by finding the probabilities of how the reality of our dreams are never too far away if only we remember to *believe in ourselves* and allow what we dream to manifest onto our path.
I am with you today and tomorrow… connecting with your journey and supporting you from afar. As you take flight to Japan, this comment will be waiting in the wings… I hope it gives you a smile when you find it and know that someone believes in you and knows your going to find this #100Summits adventure to be a defining moment for you and what you’ve achieved whilst you dared to do what at first felt impossible but is altogether a path you were always meant to embrace.
We all grow through our experiences – we reconnect to our truer self by stepping outside our comfort zones and of remembering to embetter our lives, there are times where we have to lead where we might not realise we have the ability to handle the unknown. We can’t live life backwards but through living on faith and the hope of what each new dawn brings, sometimes we find ourselves getting a happier surprise: we realise the beauty of the unexpected, the joys of the path not yet taken and the happiness of finding our freedom to simply ‘be’ alive in the moment we’re breathing in a piece of our lives we never felt we’d be blessed to experience.
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