First, a little status update: After 5 flights and 2 buses over 4 days, we have landed in Puerto Natales, Chile. In a day we’ll take a bus into Torres del Paine and begin our 10 day hike in the wilderness. I had a small panic attack when I looked at our current location on my google map. Guys, it’s really really far away from Boston. From anywhere. (But that’s kind of the point).
Sometimes I wonder what to write in here. I can’t imagine too much that we experience will actually be that interesting to an audience after we contrive how to jot it down on the interwebs. But I found it interesting – and wanted to share – that over the last few days since we’ve left, I haven’t had one moment that could classify as a “freak out”. (*The heavens applaud*). Really. I thought I’d have a moment where the reality of all this would hit me in a big way. I thought maybe when we finally packed up our house and walked out the door, leaving our first home completely empty… Nope. Maybe when our sweet friends made us breakfast and drove us to the airport; sent us off with big goodbye hugs… Nope. When we landed in FL and then took off, finally leaving the US, for Peru?… Nope. When we checked into our Lima hotel for a total of 6 hours and actually laid our heads in a brand new country?… Nope. When we spent two days in Santiago, Chile; finally walking around, interacting, and attempting our Spanish?… Nope. When we traveled 9 hours today deeper and deeper into the freaking middle of nowhere? (Seriously, guys. We saw like 30 sheep and 2 people the whole time)… Nope.
And what is the take away here? Is it that I suddenly have the mental and emotional stability of a rock? No. That certainly cannot be it. It’s that if you talk enough about something, if you make “plans” even if those plans are simple conversational promises, you are more likely to imagine yourself doing it successfully. And less likely to let the fear overwhelm you. Nate and I have talked about the dream of this trip for years. We started joking about a year ago that we better actually do it or everyone will think we’re a bunch of fakers. But that talking, all those conversations with the people we love, they empowered us to actually believe we can do this crazy thing! And oh heck yes we can.
Which means you can do any crazy thing you talk about doing, too. Can we apply this concept to our work? To our personal growth? To how we live out our faith? If we talk enough to safe and encouraging people around us about the changes we want to make in our lives, will they excitedly join us in the endeavor? If your safe people are anything like my safe people, the answer is most certainly yes. If we talk enough about them, we begin to normalize them, and our goals and plans become increasingly more attainable. Or perhaps they just become more clear, more focused. Like putting on reading glasses. They were always within our reach anyway.
So maybe start now. What are you afraid to say out loud lest you actually do it? How can you start talking to safe and uplifting people about that change you want to make?
“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
― Brené Brown