Episode 18: Paddle Out

“Don’t give up in your mind something that your body hasn’t even attempted yet.”

That thought popped into my head this morning.  I was just sitting in silence, enjoying a quiet morning. Or trying to enjoy it, I should say. Way back, in the recesses of my mind, nagging fear was doing a number on my peace.

I took a deep breath in, and a deep breath out. I counted my blessings. I stretched. I even walked to the ocean and just marvelled at its beauty. I didn’t look at my phone. I didn’t check my emails. And all this before 8am. I’m telling you, I did everything right. Or rather, I did everything that today’s ‘mindfulness’ gurus tell you to do.

Yet there it was, the anxiety. The unknown. The dull panic that somehow, somewhere, in some way I was failing.

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Episode 17: Take a Hike

I’ve been dwelling on fear lately. Wait, I should rephrase that. I’ve been mulling over the reality of the word again, but I haven’t felt particularly afraid in some time. That’s a kind of cool thing to brag on isn’t it? I’m not afraid of anything. Except it isn’t true, and I actually don’t want it to be. Because I’ve realized that without a bit of healthy fear we aren’t truly living. Without a few butterflies in our stomachs every now and then, we aren’t really taking risks, are we? Without the knowledge that you are stepping into a situation of which the outcome is unknown, you’ll never leave your comfort zone.

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Episode 15: Truly known and deeply loved

Who knows me? Who understands me? If everything I did, everything I am known for, and all of my dreams of the future suddenly disappeared one day – who would stick around?

I think one of the most challenging aspects of moving or transitioning is that your community shifts and changes. You suddenly find yourself in a new place with new people you need to somehow convey yourself to. People joke all the time about how hard it is as adults to make new friends; you can’t just walk up to someone new on the playground and start a game of tag anymore (I mean technically you could… anyone game to try it out and report back?) But beyond the lack of accessibility of new friends, (everyone is hiding out in their office buildings or Netflixing alone in their homes!) there’s also the fact that as we grow older our needs change. No longer is the pinnacle of friendship defined by finding someone who also loves Barbie’s or Pokémon, suddenly we find that our expectations of relationship have expanded.

What I mean by that is simple: I desire friendships with people who track with me, are on my level… or in other words, people who know me.

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Episode 11: The Hardest Part

A couple of days ago I was sitting around catching up with a group of friends, and someone began to get real about fear. She had been experiencing some abnormal health symptoms, had gone for tests, and now had an upcoming doctors appointment looming over her head. She summarized her fears about hearing her results quite simply, “I just wish I knew whether it was good or bad.”

Almost immediately, another friend nodded her head in agreement and said, “That’s the hardest part though – the unknown.”

Everyone in the circle nodded in agreement.

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Episode 4: Shame, shame, shame on you babe

Have you ever entered a room full of strangers and been forced to play the dreaded “icebreaker” games?

There are few things I truly dislike in this world.

Wasps, disk-golf, scavenger hunts (the worst), and icebreakers. Like, no thank you, I’ll keep this social situation nice and frozen and impenetrable thanks. I think it’s partially because I expect full-grown adults to have some amount of social skills that they are able to break the ice without a game or a line. But maybe that’s just me.

There’s one “getting-to-know” question that inevitably pops up and in every awkward mix and mingle soiree. “What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve ever done?”

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Episode 1: Paradoxical Fear

I hate fear.

What is it? That thing you dread? Ugh, I hate even the word dread. The idea that there is something coming that I cannot comprehend fully, predict remotely, or control entirely. The idea of the unknown. I think we shudder at the concept that perhaps the unknown will not turn out as we hope (which, humorously enough, it usually doesn’t). Yet despite all this, the unknown tends to also be the space in our life that creates the highly necessary room for adventure, laughter, romance, discovery.. the unknown.

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