I like to put everything into little boxes so that I know exactly what’s happening in my life and that I’m in control. In reality though I’ve learnt that the only thing I am in control of is my career, and sometimes that sucks.
Growing up you’re taught the rules of the school playground, how to make friends, what clothes to wear to fit in, what music is coolest to listen to and now for people half my age, what pose to do to get more likes on Instagram.
Your late teens are no different and so the repetitive cycle continues, increasing with intensity as you age, amplifying the feeling that you need to conform…or you’re out.
Amidst all of the havoc, I learnt something special: the very moment you don’t conform – the moment you forget the rules and go your own way – that’s when life becomes exciting. If you can step outside the mould and follow the path you want to take, generally you’re still in one piece and come out the other side a better person who is both more aware of themselves as well as how it feels to be truly alive.
For years I’ve been afraid of heights and flying in particular. It’s that feeling of being suspended in mid-air with no control whatsoever. I’m the person who has to sit at the front because I tell myself ‘it’s just safer’ as I wipe the sweat from my palms. So to get on a plane is no luxury for me and without fail I always text my mum to tell her how much I love her ‘just in case’ before I board.
Breaking my own, mental rules and feeling quite frankly shit scared for hours on end has meant that I have seen the world in just a few years… And I can’t stop. To conquer my fears I’ve been to India (twice), South Africa (twice), Brazil, Russia, Europe (a million times) and America, and I’m due to goto Stockholm, Barcelona, Rome and San Francisco all before the summer ends. You see, if I listened to my rules, I’d be sat at home looking at the Golden Gate Bridge, Table Mountain, the Christ Reedermer and the Statue of Liberty in a book. Instead I’m breaking the mould, I’m following a different, more uncomfortable path, and it’s paying dividends over and over.
That being said, I also learnt that to step outside really is an incredibly difficult, emotional and seemingly relentless thing to do, But take it from me, you have got to try it at least once 🙂