This post is about 400 words.
Two summers ago, I posted a selfie from a marina on Lake Michigan. Accompanying the image was this statement: “When life gives you the opportunity to go Great Lakes salmon fishing, you jump into that adventure, even when you have a fear of drowning.”
It’s true. I’m deathly afraid of being underwater without enough air. Floating on it is fine, but sometimes, staring down into my distorted reflection, it’s hard to keep at bay the black thoughts of my watery demise. Now imagine the crushing embrace of all the water of the third largest lake in North America. Perhaps you begin to understand my trepidation.
That might be enough to keep a rational person off the boat. But let’s add to it my fish allergy. Yes, eating fish turns me into an exploding biological disaster. As such…I haven’t taken an interest in fishing.
So why in the world was I on this expedition?
On the other side of the coin, I’ve always considered myself an agent of chaos. It’s probably the scientist in me. I like to disassemble things to see how they work. I like to push the limits of software to see what breaks. I love chasing the worst-case scenario to discover where things ultimately land. I love dumb luck, jumping in with blind faith, and rolling the dice to see what happens.
Here’s why I took the trip: This chance invite was an opportunity to do something I never would have pursued on my own. When it came down to it, I really wanted to see how I’d face this challenge.
I had faith that I could handle it.
And handle it I did. I didn’t drown. I didn’t go into anaphylactic shock. In fact, I had an amazing time and pulled an enormous 30-pound king salmon from the depths after a half hour struggle.
Perhaps you’ve guessed the point of my story.
Don’t think twice. Don’t consider those things that scare you or put you so far outside your comfort zone that you can’t see the zone from where you’ve landed. Take the leap, address those uncomfortable things – which, I’ll add, might never rear their ugly heads – and see what happens.
Revel in the chaos and come out on top. My new chaos is a novel; I’m sure you can find your own, if you’re willing to take the leap.
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© Michael Wallevand, June 2016; originally posted on LinkedIn