I don't know how it happens but somehow the older I become, the more fearful I am. Maybe I'm not afraid in childlike ways (of the dark, of snakes and spiders, etc.) but I have started to notice that I have a tendency to make decisions based on my fear. The fear of failure, fear of financial instability, fear of missing out, and so many more can often cripple my mind and change the decisions I would have made into the safe, easy ones.
I have truly struggled with turning 25 this year. I know some of you will roll your eyes because I am still young by most definitions. But this number, along with a traumatic start to my year, has shaken me to the core. I feel like I should have done so many more things (though what I'm not sure!) and I am beginning to lose a little of the fearlessness that I have come to cherish as a part of my personality.
Saying no to fear, whether big or small, is an active, daily decision. It's a demonstration of self awareness and good practice for knowing why I am doing what I am doing. Last year I saw a little event called Designer Trek, an offshoot of Circles Conference that I attended almost two years ago. It appealed to my every desire - for adventure, for travel, for the West Coast (in Portland!), and for connecting with other creatives. I found out about it at the last minute so I couldn't go, but I promised myself I would make it the next year.
When this year came and I looked up Designer Trek again, I began to be afraid. Of course it looked incredible - this year is in a mansion on Lake Tahoe in Utah! - and I happened to not have a wedding booked for that weekend. But then I had a million fears run through my head - is this a good investment? What if something happens and I need to be home that weekend? What if I feel awkward because I don't really know anyone there? Isn't it the smart thing to say no?
I debated and agonized while Nathan over and again encouraged me to just go. The email sat in my inbox for days while I turned the decision over and over again in my mind. And then I realized that I was acting out of fear. Of course there are other things I could invest in, but I do have the resources to travel and the points for a free flight. Something could always happen and I could 'need' to be home that weekend - but more than likely nothing will come up. And I won't know anyone there...but I'm an extrovert who thrives in that kind of situation once I arrive!
So that was it. I purchased a ticket, booked my flights, and told my relieved husband who had been trying to convince me to go since I first heard of it. So next month I'm joining other creatives in Lake Tahoe for a weekend I know that I will never forget, after making a decision not from fear but wisdom and a sense of adventure. Utah, here I come!