I started doing something new each month since May 2013. Each month, I started going to a new place and doing one thing new. It had been a wonderful experience so far, and more importantly, it felt like doing the right thing or fulfilling a promise (to myself?). Although, I didn’t know what that promise is exactly – it just gave the snug feeling of, “Yes, Jia Xuan, well done!!”
Upon reflection, it could be said that I am trying new things and making conscious decisions to face my fears.
“I wanted to try new things since I met you.” I wrote this in my diary dated 21 July 2009. It was right after I went to a national park in the USA and dipped myself in the cool spring water, and attended a 2-day surfing course in Australia despite being on the edge of the beginnings of winter.
Further down the road, some of my sporadic events of saying “I couldn’t / wouldn’t do that” but did them anyway included babysitting a child for 5 days in August 2010 and bungee jumped 43m in December 2011.
I have nothing “significant” to record in 2012. I did go through a breakup, went to my first rally, started self-employment and went to work in a new organisation and waited for the issuance of my visa for 7 months (it meant that I couldn’t make concrete plans for anything beyond next week).
When the opportunity to go skydiving sprung up unexpectedly in June 2013, I took it almost without second thought. I felt oddly calm all the way – from saying yes to arriving at the airfield, from boarding the aircraft to receiving the usual comments of “you’re brave”. The only time when I felt something was when I sat on the verge of the plane and the first 2 seconds of free-falling that followed immediately after.
I realised I was not afraid, and being not afraid meant I could live the actual experience (that was not wrapped up by that particular emotion of fear).
Perhaps 2012 was a cultivating period. The year where I did what I did because I needed to, for various reasons. I needed to breakup, I needed to go to the rally, and I needed to stir up my stable career of being an employee. I had no time nor need to be afraid, just had to take the plunge.
Whilst you could say it is innate in me to put myself out of my comfort zone, being brave is a habit i.e. it can be cultivated.
And perhaps it is that one important key to many doors for a beautiful life that I can be extremely grateful for when I look back in 20 years time.