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Being Scared and Doing It Anyway

by Ashley on January 9, 2013 · 7 comments


When I graduated from college I was incredibly scared. Not afraid of graduation itself (I was actually quite excited to be leaving the university and the four years I spent there behind me), but because I knew what my plans for the future were and they terrified me.

They were big and bold and audacious and completely out of my comfort zone. My plans were somewhat out of the ordinary and not like my friends who were moving on to Corporate America with their diploma. No.

The following September, I would pack up my life and move to France to teach English for a year. I would navigate this new country, this new culture, this new world, by myself. I would be responsible for finding a new home, new friends, new routines, and new comforts.

I was scared, but I did it anyway.

I did it for the thrill of the adventure, for the hope that I wasn’t wrong, and for the desire for something more.

I boarded the plane. I relaxed into my new apartment with orange walls and I made new friends with foreign accents. With time I found my way through the Parisian train stations and discovered the ins-and-outs of the boulangeries, charcuteries, and cafes. I found comfort in crepes for breakfast and baguettes for late-afternoon snacks.

I walked cobblestone streets, toured magnificent castles, fell in love with croissants au chocolat, and began dreaming in French.

But it was nine months away from my family and friends. Nine months of discovering how to be me and live my life on my own. Nine months of tears, laughter, and insane amounts of red wine. Discovering my limits and my strength.

It felt like each day was a new soul-shaking experiment, a time for me to stretch my wings and see how far I could go. It was exhilarating and exhausting. The days were filled with creating once in a lifetime, never to be forgotten memories.

I was scared, but I did it anyway.

And at the end of my time in France, I realized this is it.

This is what life is about.

The adventure that you know you have to take, even though you can feel your bones rattling with fear. It’s a good thing.

The nerves and the uncertainty and the uncomfortable knowing, deep down, that you are meant for something more, something bigger. You are meant to do this.

It’s about filling yourself with courage and taking chances even though you have no idea how they will turn out. Because it’s not living if you don’t.


Photo: A picture I took of a canvas painting in Paris
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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Meghan January 9, 2013 at 7:30 am

Thanks for posting this. It’s something I really needed to read.


Linda January 9, 2013 at 8:47 am

And now you’re doing it again but with Canada!

Paris is my audacious goal for 2013, so this was perfect reading for me.


Erin January 9, 2013 at 9:25 am

love this! i set my theme for 2013, but turns out this (being scared and doing it anyway) is my unintentional, actual theme for 2013. things are shifting around like crazy right now and i’m going with it as best i can. i feel the call to get a dog, which is terrifying me, but my gut is quietly insistent, sooooooo… feeling scared, but doing it anyway. next up is buying a house. (i don’t know why we’re doing it in this order, my gut and i, but i trust it knows what it’s doing.)


The Curious Cat January 10, 2013 at 8:06 am

Funny, I’m just sitting here with a pen trying to write pros and cons about three different options for next year. There is the play it safe option of staying in my current city, there is the be a little daring and go to the bigger city nearby and there is the scariest option – fly to Korea or Japan… Your post was nice to read as I have been deliberating….! xxx


kelly January 10, 2013 at 7:53 pm

This is seriously what I needed and wanted to read right now. I’m contemplating a big adventure and right now it just seems equally exciting and terrifying. Thanks!


capePHAROAH January 11, 2013 at 5:44 am

Yes! I have realised something similar. Everytime I undertake a new adventure I expect the nerves and butterflies to go away and never return. I want to be a master of myself and I thought that meant NEVER being nervous. Now I realise that these feelings just need to be reframed. :-)


Gina Mizzoni December 7, 2013 at 2:50 am

This is so incredibly beautiful. Thank you for the inspiration, and the pull on my heartstrings.


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