“What are you afraid of?” author Bob Mayer asked at a writing conference, “because that’s what’s holding you back as writers.”
At the time, it was social media–mastering new technology, committing to cranking out a weekly post. But I started a blog, and am glad I did. Since my first blogpost I’ve made new friends, discovered photographic storytelling, which I love, and crossed a whopper off this writer’s to-do list.
Marriage was another commitment that terrified me, but I faced that fear too.
It took seven years before Thom and I felt brave enough to assume the awesome responsibility of parenthood. It’s the most joyful, most difficult, most rewarding, and most important undertaking we’d ever signed on for, or ever will.
Whether we choose them ourselves or take what fate throws our way, the most daunting experiences are often the most edifying.
The most challenging ones tend to be the most rewarding.
With the toughest climbs come the best views.
After the kids were old enough to change their own diapers, we thought could rest on our laurels, but there was an unexpected twist to the parent/child relationship.
We raised kids who challenge themselves. Bea watched her big brother do his math homework, and designed her own “Really Hard Math Problem.”
As they tested their own mettle, and created their own challenges…
…we were forced out of our comfort zones just to keep up.
Thom and I would never have chosen to go to the Amazon jungle if the kids hadn’t been keen to go.
It was hard to watch my kids twist and turn like little spiders on a web as they climbed 200 feet up into the canopy to zipline. And for the first (and probably last) time in my life, I went ziplining too. You never know when someone might need a bandaid or some bug repellant.
Only for my kid would I board a hot air balloon in Cappadocia, another thing I swore I’d never do. But it’s good to feel a fire in your belly and rise above your fears.
We are not extreme travelers. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: most of the adventures I have are in my own mind. But for the sake of my kids, I’ve put on my big girl panties and donned a hard hat once or twice.
Sometimes you have to throw caution to the wind.
I appreciate people who can lure me out of my comfort zone.
Sometimes it’s good to commit to a path with unexpected twists and bends.
I’m sure I’m a better person for it. And if nothing else, Life Outside The Comfort Zone provides great material for a writer.
All images and words copyright 2014 Naomi Baltuck.