I’m not really sure what rattled me this year, but something convinced me to head right out of my comfort zone. This past year, I was encouraged to run towards resistance. I wanted to be challenged. I wanted to succeed and fail just the same. I craved learning from both experiences. In taking chances, both big and small, I’ve learned what I’m capable of, conquered fears, shared lots of laughs and created an itch to keep thinking big!
Here are a few of the challenges, risks and small steps I took in 2014:
Defeated my fear of heights.
I willingly put myself in an enclosed tube and fell straight down a waterslide. This may seem like no big deal to some but I never imagined myself doing this. As I stood in the tiny tube of hell and waited for the floor to fall out from under me, I seriously considered myself insane. What in God’s name would convince me to do this. 5…4…3…2…1 HOLLLLLLY SHIIIIIIIIT !!!!!!!!!!!! And down I went. I screamed, maybe cried a little but was definitely laughing by the time I got to the bottom. As soon as I pulled my bathing suit out of my intestines, I ran right back up and did it all over again. I will say, peer pressure worked to my advantage for once. I never would have done this if a good friend of mine wouldn’t have talked me in to it.
A challenge for my physical and mental body.
The adventure course’s website came through my Facebook newsfeed early last summer. From the first time I saw it, I wanted to do this with my husband, which shocked even me. As the hubs and I pulled in to the park, we saw people swinging through trees, zip lining and walking on small, swinging logs, so far up I could barely see from the car. I can’t lie. I was seriously shaking. But I did it! This was physical at times but more mental. I had to push fear aside and just take that first step. I had to just believe that I would be ok, as I hooked my self to the 60 ft high zip line, lifted my feet and just flew through the trees. It was liberating and fun!
Followed my heart 2,682,420 miles (no exaggeration at all) across the east coast.
Ok, so many that is a little bit of an exaggeration. But when you have two small kids in a car, driving from NY to FL, it feels like an eternity. It was worth it though. I saw family that I hadn’t seen in 16 years. I have more relatives in heaven than I do on the ground so this needed to happen. My aunt and my cousins hold a special place in my heart because of the stories that bind us. I felt so blessed to be able to visit with my cousin, Serina–a true kindred soul. Remember, I told you how two dead people conspired to bring us together? Watching our kids play together and just being near blood relatives, that looked like me, was something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life.
Slept under the stars.
I may have been in a tent and on an air mattress but it still counts. I left my husband and kids at home (something I had never done) and headed to the woods. “You’re going camping?” That was the response I got when I told people I was going to spend the weekend in the woods. “I don’t think you know what you’re in for” said my lovely hubs. I was kind of appalled by that. And boy did it make me want to go even more. I’m not a princess, nor am I afraid of getting back to basics. So why did they doubt me? Turns out, it was one of the best weekends I’ve ever had. A group of my favorite ladies and I ate like queens, drank like the party girls we all used to be and I found peace by the river. It was epic and we have already planned out a trip for next summer.
Took my writing to the next level.
My writing has taken me places I never saw coming this year. It has allowed me to not only work through my own recovery, but become an advocate for other survivors. How crazy that I teamed up with a complete stranger to create a book about something that before last year, I could barely talk about. That is the power of connection. I put the fear of rejection to the side this year and it paid off big. I have been featured on several other sites, including Scary Mommy and Huffington Post–both bucket list items for me. I started writing fiction and found that I absolutely love it! Read a saucy little piece I wrote here. I truly learned the power of words this year. To Learn more about the anthology, you can view our website here.
From the W.T.F. homestead, to all of my friends, family and lovely followers…In the coming year, I wish you love, laughter and the courage to get back up when you fall down. Let us all breathe in the good stuff and learn from the curve balls life will throw at us.
Happy New Years!! ~Dawn
What’s something you did this year that surprised you? What did you learn from it?