There are what ifs, what nots and and the result of dwelling on either of the two for a prolonged period of time, what knots . I think the metaphor coveys the point, or maybe I’m drastically stretching my use of these examples too far. Either or, or, what I have been preoccupied with is a combination of possible ‘what if’ scenarios that I can’t untangle from one another. It’s not just one, but the many which make the knot. I’m standing at a point which is further from the shore of being ‘sure’ that I’ve ever dared venture in my life. Not particularly afraid to swim, I enjoy the water, but I attribute an uneasiness to my upbringing where eventually the over protective nature of my parents convinced me the risks of the open waters were not worth the adventure and potential gain. That said, for a portion of my life, I played it safe. I was the one who throws the towel down on the beach and reads. I could never see too far beyond the horizon, but always found comfort knowing safety was located right behind me.
Now I’m heading out into those waters, crossing them and planning to spend a year on an island which in so many ways is completely unfamiliar to me. An experience which you have never had, simply can’t divulge the mysteries it hides through your imagination or through logical interpretation. Experience gives birth to knowledge as organically as humans give birth to children. Philosophers can debate this, just as scientists can attempt to grow a child in a tube, but nothing changes our deep seeded familiarity that simply, life is sometimes intended to unfold in the way that if often does.
With this in mind, I have not tried to untangle all of my fears and concerns. The questions and what if’s are naturally expected. I can trust in my instincts, but until I acquire the experience, the fields of knowledge will be barren without the fruits of experience. That is where the decision to dive into the risk is made. This decision could even reveal the bigger risk was in fact staying put where I assumed my safety lied. Tidal waves, predators, depleting resources or a worsening job market and prolonged unemployment. Living is risking.
Taking off for my adventure, I could feel more lonely than I have ever been, I could find the work too difficult, I could find the work unable to provide the career development I seek, I could fall off a kayak. Having stayed in my home city, I could get an amazing job the week after I was scheduled to leave. Then again , I could find myself immersed in the culture and outdoor activities, happier than I have ever been. I could acquire a new understanding of the world that I would have never gotten having stayed put. I could lose valuable friendships from being gone for so long.
Writing everything that you’re afraid off , gives you a better understanding of which fears are nots and which are knots. Some will be untangled with ease, the rest will loosen with time and experience. Move on, slowly and steadily. Expected to get tangled but avoid getting trapped.