I remember when I first heard of a woman swimming the English Channel- I was about 8yrs old. The feat was epic, the person a mythical creature. And that is a danger- we put people we admire- or the feats they have done -in a category separate to ourselves. They must be made of sterner stuff, had a different upbringing, be super human. Other. Not like me. And so our dreams remain aloof. Intangible, out of reach of us mere mortals.
They become precious, and we protect them, our heroes and dreams, by keeping them apart, not sullied by regular life. The longer we leave this gossamer link to our deepest drives and highest concepts of ourselves the more tenuous the link seems. The more precarious the path and the harder it is to imagine that these things are inside us, part of us. Already. It seems puff chested and arrogant to assume we can tread the same boards, own them as our own. The courage to dare is coated in a frisson that many dread. And yet fear and anticipation are made of the same stuff- only our attitude towards it and reaction to it change.
Be your own hero- when all is said and done, and anyone else who can stand in judgement is no more, and your lying in your bed it is your own mind that knows what you did- or didn’t do. Be that person that you can be proud of. Don’t wait for someone else to notice, or seek others approval. Don’t do – or not do things- because of other people’s opinions. At the core of your being, know you are doing the right thing. Travel that road constantly, build that bridge into a highway so you have regular and easy access to that which drives you. The more you practice the route, the clearer it becomes.
And if you start off lost and confused, learn to read your signposts. Don’t wait for it to become clear, start blindly in any direction that you fancy. Blindly- with arms outstretched, with trepidation, feeling every nuance of reaction to gauge whether the way forward is the one you want to pursue. Adjust constantly and according to your feedback. Learn your own language, create your own map. How can you ever be happy with yourself if you are living by someone else’s script.
And if you are not full of yourself, who are you full of? Not boastful, just filling your own skin, knowing your own mind. Answering to your own clarion call- dancing to your own tune.
Dare to walk that tightrope to your best version of events. It’s not enough to feel the fear and do it anyway- feel the fear and recognise the anticipation for what it is. And start. Anywhere, just start.