Every day, do something that scares you. I’m not going to take credit for those words of wisdom; that’s definitely some paraphrasing of Eleanor Roosevelt. Her phrasing is probably even more eloquent, but that’s beside the point.
The point is that this is such a relevant concept for people my age. With so many pressures and responsibilities, sometimes simply getting out of bed in the morning can be just as scary and daunting as climbing a 50-foot rock wall or public speaking.
This idea is something I decided I really wanted to write about because recently I’ve realized that it is so easy to make up excuses to avoid things that are frightening or foreign to us because it is simply the easier thing to do. People are creatures of habit, and we enjoy our habits. They’re safe and comforting. But they also could be what hinder us from discovering new opportunities, meeting new people and making fantastic memories.
I got my first tattoo this past weekend after putting it off for quite some time. I had known exactly what I wanted for three years, got close to making an appointment several times and even canceled one. I had my excuses.
They were good excuses too, let me tell you: I wanted to be 100 percent sure before making a permanent change to my body, it would be irresponsible to spend so much money when I’m broke, it’s a generic design etc. Yet there I was after three years, still talking about how much I wanted it and still making excuses about why I shouldn’t get it. It was as if it was never the right time.
The second time I made my appointment, I knew I couldn’t flake. So I didn’t. Now, people who have tattoos or who are impulsive and confident in their decisions are probably asking themselves: “What’s wrong with this girl? It’s not a big deal.”
You are 100 percent right. It isn’t a big deal—to you. But coming from someone who has to weigh the pros and cons of every important decision, I can tell you this decision was high on the difficulty scale for me. But on the day I was fated to finally have ink permanently etched into my skin, I woke up with Eleanor’s words in my head. So I did it.
I’m not going to lie, it was incredibly painful. There was one point toward the end where I was cursing my decision in my head and mustering all the self-control I could not to curse the artist out loud. That said, I couldn’t be happier with the result. What I’m trying to say with this anecdote of mine is that you shouldn’t let doubt or fear of the unknown inhibit you from making changes in your life every day, big or small. Maybe that “scary” thing for you is just walking up to a person and introducing yourself, admitting to someone that you need help or letting go of a toxic relationship.
Conquering fears are what life is about. Speaking of scary, I recently found out that I will be graduating a semester earlier than I had originally thought. It’s actually kind of an intimidating thought. This means I have to get a start on planning what I’m going to be doing after college. The next “scary” thing that I have to conquer is just figuring out how to make that transition into the next chapter of my life. I need to figure out how to become an adult, as opposed to this psuedo-adult I find myself to be.
This time in our lives is about both loss and growth. I think that once someone learns how to embrace that idea of change, it becomes easier to do things that “scare you.” Every time you check another fear of your list, you shed a layer that helps you get closer to your true self.