By Emily Algar, Guest Blogger
Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to do something big, something different, something extraordinary. I don’t know where this idea came from but it’s always been with me.
I remember being at school always thinking I should be somewhere else, that if I stayed in that classroom any longer I would die and remain the same as everyone else. I would be stuck, wanting to “fit in” and just following the road most travelled. Over the years this voice has quieted, and at one point even disappeared as I began to be satisfied in the journey and discovery, rather than the end goal.
Despite the moments of silence, I am still left with the horrible sensation of wasted time, missed opportunities, and regret. My biggest fear is that I will look back and only see the “what if’s” and “if only’s,” and that scares me more than anything in the world. Like any good self-fulfilling prophecy, this fear has been holding me back from moving onward, and keeping me in a place where regret and unhappiness only grow.
A very good friend once said, “words like ‘unique,’ ‘big,’ ‘special,’ and ‘good enough’ are all booby traps. Do not enter ye olde abandoned mine shaft Scoob.”
It’s a slippery slope down the mine shaft and the further down I go, the more fearful I become of putting a foot out of place and falling. Settling for nothing short of extraordinary whilst at the same time venturing further and further down into the darkness is a perfect recipe for sadness and despair.
I have been so focused on being extraordinary and doing something big, that I’ve been missing out on all of life’s beautiful complexities. I have let fear of failure and fear of regret take hold, and crumple any small ounce of desire or passion I have. It seems that the only way to push through where “extraordinary” isn’t a chain around your neck, and the mine shaft is no longer a viable passage, is to just keep on doing and keep on going.
Never stop! Aim for extraordinary and be conscious of it, but don’t let it rule your heart and head, because that master is a relentless one.
Don’t forsake the journey in favour of the mountaintop.
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Emily Algar is an International Relations graduate who has just completed her Masters in International Security. She lives in a small town in Oxfordshire, UK where she writes, listens to music and walks her dogs. Since completing her studies, Emily is trying to figure out where she fits in the world and until she does, she is enjoying the ride.
image by Marco Bazelmans