I need to do things that scare me

Written on October 4th, 2017

In just over eight months I’ll be packing my bags and leaving the life I know behind to inhabit remote Thailand for two months.

I’ll be honest: I’m terrified.

I’ll be a marketing intern at a small elephant sanctuary that was only just founded in May 2016. It’s an amazing place with the best intentions, but they need some help getting their feet under them to further their mission.

I will have to take cold bucket showers. I will have to live with a native tribal family. I will have to eat grubs and all sorts of other cuisine I’ve never experienced. I will have to be vaccinated and medicated and cautious.

Mostly, I will have to grow.

I am unbelievably uncomfortable thinking about everything this experience will mean for me, but I’m also extremely excited.

It will be hard to be away from home, to leave the country for the first time, to find a way to fit in on the other side of the world. But it would be harder to never go and live with the what ifs.

I need to do things that scare me because those are the things that push me. Fear comes naturally — it’s always seemed that timidness is in my bones — but overcoming my hesitation is the most rewarding thing of all.

It’s true that I don’t really know what to expect; I’ll face foreign wildlife and a foreign culture and foreign geography. But isn’t that how life is supposed to be?

I’m such a creature of habit that I’m practically married to my routine. On the Myers-Briggs personality inventory, I am as far to the “J” side of the spectrum as one can get. It’s hard for me to shake things up — and that’s exactly why I need to do it.

If I don’t do this now, there’s a chance that I never will. When again in my life will I have two months to go abroad? The timing is complicating my full-time job search, sure — but that’s just another fear I need to overcome.

It seems that the year is hurtling by, pushing me closer and closer to the departure date circled in pen on my calendar, a ring of excitement and terror.

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have my reservations. There are moments where I hesitate so fully I am not sure if I should even go. But I know, deep down, that I am meant for this experience.

Regardless of how uncomfortable it makes me… I need to grow.