live courageously. what does this even mean? i've contemplated it for a while now as it is no small task and proven very difficulty to understand - living courageously. it includes not only an adventurous spirit, but the recognition that there's a purpose to be had and to go after it with white hot passion.
there's something quite romantic about having a purpose, a calling, something specific to do with your life with the knowledge that you're leaving a path of breadcrumbs for others to follow in suit. but truthfully, few people ever get a clear sign on what this purpose may be. indeed, life is full of unpredictable things, foreign things, messy things; we are chicaned into believing that the settlement of less is more and comfort is something to welcome, though i've come to find it brings a sort of limitation that keeps me up at night.
life's narrative is a tricky one. it's harsh and chaotic, sometimes uneventful, or even too eventful, perplexing and endlessly challenging. difficulty disguises itself with goodness, stringing the two along in a web so complex, so tangled, so uncanny that it's hard to discern the good decision from the bad one, even the light from the dark.
i think i've been harder on myself these past 14 months than i have before. i've learned about control, about holding loosely onto norms and conventions, about ignoring tangible decisions to dream about doing the unexpected, about contemplating the possibility of those things impossible, about over-anticipating and over-expanding, about the difference between what i truly love to do and what i love to tell people i do.
i've re-learned about living courageously... that it's not necessarily defined by those mountain-top moments and life altering decisions, but by taking two steps to the side, by finding pleasure in small things, the little moments that encourage me to rest, to breathe, to be still. moments like these: randomly making breakfast for a friend, exploring a place you've never explored, reading something you'd normally ignore, climbing something you've never climbed before, coordinating a road trip, getting to know a stranger.
i've been terrified of not living courageously. terrified of not having the strength to dive into doing more of what i love. terrified of worrying about what others think. terrified of having others limit the opportunities i've imagined for myself. terrified that my ideas weren't big enough, grand enough, or would lead me to those mountain-top views.
but i realized that my fear of courageous living had created in me a person filled with terror and fear; someone who had locked herself in habit, in routine, in complacency, in comfort. the time i spent over-thinking, waiting, and planning out ways to be more courageous had been the very things that prevented me from doing just that. after all, no one holds the power to limit you but you.
the universe has a plan, and that plan is always in motion. stars move, the seasons change, a butterfly flaps its wings and it starts to rain. it's a scary thought, but it's also kind of wonderful... all these little parts of the machine constantly working to make sure you end up exactly where you're suppose to be when you're suppose to be there. living courageously is not about those big moments or grand life decisions of making a major move or quitting a job. it's about each individual piece of the puzzle because when they slowly start to come together, the picture of your life becomes fuller, more beautiful, more intricate, more complete.
if we spend our time defining our lives by the big things, where's the courage in that? indeed, life is easier to understand in big, life altering patterns, but there is much to be learned by understanding the simple things, the quiet things, the small deeds of ordinary folk. and even though small is very much mingled with big, it grows perhaps the greater.
so that's what i intend to do. i intend to take each day as it comes, challenging myself not in big ways, but in the little ones. to pray more, try something new, create something, read more, write more; to witness the movement of the stars, the changing of the seasons, the wings of a butterfly and each time it rains. and every morning when i step out the front door, these little pieces constantly work with fate to make sure i end up exactly where i'm suppose to be when i am suppose to be there.