“I try not to come to this part of town even though I have spent my childhood here,” he said and paused for sometime. “I got into a very messy fight; if those people were to see me here now, they’ll beat the life out of me.”
Got me thinking — like it always does when people say stuff like this out-of-the-blue and I am too stumped to reply — how many times have I avoided some things, people, places… just because associated with it are some not so warm and fuzzy memories?
Running from what yanks you out of your comfort zone is what many, including me, opt for. When I was around 8 years old, my family and I used to stay in this town where the swimming pool was at a distance of just 15 minutes. My friends and I would ride there most afternoons; but despite going there for months, I never learnt how to swim. I was too scared; the area where I was unable to touch the floor with my feet, I was convinced I would be sucked inside. So, I was always at the very shallow end, frolicking like a silly person.
Didn’t do anybody any good; because when I get inside a pool now, I swim like a “drowning frog, all set to take down others with me”.
But the question is, when nothing lasts forever, isn’t it obvious that whatever causes us ‘discomfort’ won’t last either? I wish I was writing this blog at that time, I surely would have made an effort to learn swimming. Now one of my greatest fears when flying is what will happen to me if I have to swim and survive without wearing a life jacket?
Then there was this time in my life where I used to be very scared of dogs. Moreover, I also found them smelly and unhygienic and, thus, I would never want to pet them. But after being friends with so many people who love dogs, I am so happy that I eventually changed. I wish my parents have a change of heart too.
Anyway, here’s food for thought:
1) Amelia Earhart would have never become the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean if she hadn’t got out of her comfort zone.
2) Esther Grace Earl would have never written if she had let cancer beat her spirit. If that had happened there would never be ‘The Fault in Our Stars’.
3) James Ward, a homeless young American, would have never made to Howard College if he had let the circumstances get the best of him (check out the #homelesstohoward campaign).
4) Satya Nadella, the current CEO of the Microsoft empire, would have gone nowhere if he hadn’t dreamt big.
I know fear can be crippling, I know that fact very well because I fight and, many a times lose, against this formidable foe. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
All of us dream big, but it’s only when we step out of our very comfortably uncomfortable zones can we really make them come true.
I hope you don’t go down the path the ‘little me’ chose in the swimming pool years ago. Ships don’t sail in the shallow ends, it’s only when they are in the deep and the unknown do they make history.