I’ve gotten to a place where I no longer fear great events. The best years, one might say, untied from grave responsibilities, misplaced in the venue for pursuit of financial gain. I played the safe road again and again, exhausting years of good health and fitness, stacking dreams for all the things I’d eventually do. This, by the way, is the voice of wisdom—knowing when you tell yourself comforting excuses like, “I have plenty of time. I can take that trip next year, or plan for it a few years from now.” We should always make an attempt to hear ourselves, be mindful of what we’re doing when we use those self-declarations. We’re constantly letting go of today. Failing to acknowledge that there is no time like this, the existential moment. Sure, things we often want require planning, and that’s fine. Hell, psychologists say the greatest intensity of happiness we feel during a trip is often the days of anticipation before the trip begins. It’s that extraordinary feeling of being on the cusp of greatness. We should bask in that moment as long as possible.
I talked myself out of trips because I didn’t want the financial burden. I wouldn’t camp because it was easier to stay at home and read and futz around online, excusing myself from everything on account of grad school projects, homework, looming work deadlines. I bypassed great experiences throughout my twenties while friends studied abroad, lived in new cities, built worldly character while seeking the nectar of life residing in shared experiences. Nearly every event is improved when shared.
It took a long time to defeat that insular selfish mentality. It took the crumbling of walls, removal of safety nets, a revolving door of relationships coming and going before I hit the brakes on everything and said emphatically into a mirror, “This isn’t working. I’m not happy.” And, it’s true. I wasn’t happy. I was entrenched in a sprawling apathy after existing in autopilot for so long, I forgot what it felt like to hold the wheel of purpose. But it’s never too late to get it back. You should welcome big changes because it’s where you grow the most. That discomfort you experience from a big event? That’s growth.