Yes, unfortunately it's time for another one of those inner-peace-zen-garden-with-jute-sandal-meditation blog posts! After the positive feedback I had on my "5 Steps to Happiness" post, and seeing as this isn't solely a fashion blog, I thought it would be nice to do a series of advice and help posts, addressing issues that I feel have been important in my life, and exploring the ways I have dealt with them.
I've found that sometimes it's easy to get stuck in a rut and a routine, and that we can struggle to break free from what we know and are comfortable with. Sure, this might be the safe and easy option, and you might think "why change?", especially if you are totally content with your situation. Of course, I would ultimately like to settle down into a routine, however I think it's incredibly important not to fall into too much of a committed regime too soon.
A book/film that really inspired me to start thinking this way is "Into the Wild" by Jon Krakauer. His book documents the true story of Christopher McCandless, a young man and college graduate, who leaves his comfortable home to hitch hike to Alaska and live off the land there. (If you haven't seen the film, I would really recommend it, it's worth the time and Emile Hirsch is the dream in it, too.) To quote from one of McCandless' letters to his friend, Ronald Franz:
“You really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences."
Of course, this doesn't mean I'm about to hop on a plane and start hunting moose with my bare hands, however it has caused me to think a little differently.
Too often have I been too cautious about new opportunities, getting anxious and finding excuses to say no. However, I've learnt recently that it's of the utmost importance that we try new things. If you never try, then you'll never know! As an example, this summer I've been volunteering at my local library, helping with their reading challenge for children. I've never worked with children before, and initially the prospect scared me (I almost cancelled my application), however the first session left me with the biggest grin on my face. I've never known anything so fulfilling! If I hadn't bit the bullet and had a go, I would never have known, and I wouldn't be considering working with children as part of my future plans. Trying new things can cause you to discover things about yourself you don't even know yet.
"Sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage and something great will come of it."
Talk to that girl or boy you like, start up that blog or Youtube channel, apply for that job. Go and do the karaoke if you want to! Take risks. Do things that scare you, because they are the things that will make you feel the most accomplished, and the things that will make the biggest impact on your life. There's nothing worse than wondering "what if?"
I'm going interrailling (in fact I'll be travelling when you read this) tomorrow, across eastern Europe. I've always been quite hesitant about travelling, as sometimes the prospect scares me, however when I think about it, some of the most amazing and awe inspiring things I've seen have been on my travels.
We are so lucky in this part of the world to have the opportunities we do, and I think it's such a shame that for the most part we don't harness them. I'm guilty of it, but I'm trying to make a change.
When was the last time you did something that scared you?