Skydiving.

Fearlessness is an emotion, or as some believe, a personality trait, that I admire most in people. It’s something I’ve always longed for, pushed myself to have, yet failed miserably at demonstrating it.

I am what my financial advisor calls risk-averse. I don’t like jumping out of planes, making risky investments, or moving across the country without knowing a soul {ahem.}. Much to the chagrin of my staunchly religious parents, I’ll admit that sometimes I do the right thing because I’m afraid of getting caught, not really because I have a stellar code of morals. {Sorry, Mom.} I am terrified of “stretching the truth” when I do my taxes, frightened at the possibility of getting sued {for anything, guilty or not}, and I nearly threw up when I received a red-light ticket.

I wish there was a switch I could turn on to become more carefree, to ditch the worries and the dread that I’m perpetually saddled with; a class I could take: How to Be More Adventurous Without Wanting to Pee in Your Pants. I’d pay for that class.

At times, the thought of leaving Chicago terrifies me, and without exaggeration, makes me want to vomit. Yet at others, I find myself sending desperate messages to my husband: “Is it May yet?” or “Oh my gosh, I can not wait to get out of this state.” It’s doubtful I’m bi-polar. In reality, I think so much of me really is ready to shed the worrisome, fearful version of myself and become the stereotypical laid back Californian. But breaking a pattern, leaving your worried roots is hard.

I can’t really ever think of a time when I wasn’t overthinking or worrying about something. I can’t really even think of what triggered this in me…I had a relatively quiet childhood where I was well-provided for and deeply loved. It’s exhausting to live this way, though. I find myself combatting every thought and idea with a worst-case scenario, playing out courtroom trials a la Atticus Finch in my head or picturing myself living in a cardboard box near the Golden Gate Bridge. And yet, I identify as an optimist. I’m hopeful for situations, but fear the worst. I long for moments of joy, happiness and wealth, yet plan for sadness, sorrow, and struggles.

This move really is proving to be the perfect microcosm of my life. I want to approach it with fearlessness and bravery, but find myself pulled back by the heavy bands of worry. I want to jump and take the leap of faith that I’ve always desperately wanted to take, yet my feet feel heavy with dread.

What if it doesn’t work out?

What if I am absolutely miserable when I get there?

Is this the stupidest decision of my life?

Some days, I really don’t know the answer to these questions. I doubt my intuition, which has been slowly pushing me to pack my bags and sell my possessions. Today is one of those days. Today I’m finding myself calculating the risk, sliding the beads to the other side of the abacus, hoping that I can find some logical reason to call the whole thing off. I won’t, of course. Deep in my soul resides the knowledge that this is where I’m meant to be, that this path has been set for me and I need to conquer it, enjoying and exploring every square inch.

But still, there are days like today when I stumble upon a list of goals, filled with big dreams and deadlines, that I know I’ll never hit. And it scares me. I couldn’t bear to delete it, to erase that former hopeful list from my life. I’m abandoning those goals, those sweet nuggets of hope that I clung to not even six months ago. But scared or not, I forge onward, pushing myself out of my comfort zone and hoping that one of these days I will find myself leaping before looking, jumping from the proverbial plane with my arms outstretched and a smile on my face.

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