A friend recently posted a link on Facebook to the ‘wear sunscreen’ graduate advice speech written by Mary Schmich and later turned into a cool Baz Luhrman song. The whole speech is great but one line really stuck out for me as I re-read it this week:
“Do one thing every day that scares you.”
The original point of this blog, although it may have sidled off into a different dimension or two now, or at least the basis for the title, was not to let fear hold me back from trying new things. Not to get to my death bed and be full of regrets for the things I was afraid to do. Or rather, it is my fear of being full of regrets later in life that motivates me not to let other fears hold me back from taking advantage of opportunities now.
On an overall scale I feel like I’m doing my best to live up to this grand philosophy. I’ve not been afraid to take risks with work or moving to new places, although I accept I’m at a point in my life where it is easier for me to do this than it would be if, say, we had kids or our parents weren’t well or for any number of other reasons.
But I was thinking about this line and how often I actuallyy incorporate that philosophy into my daily life. I’m not always great at this. There are many times when I’m ensconced in the comfort of my flat on a weekend and I might pass up spontaneous opportunities that arrive to try new things as I dig deep into nest-like mentality and fear the possibility of something out there being less enjoyable than the cosiness of being in here.
However I am a lot better at trying new things than I used to be and this week has been a good week for that.
One of my New Year’s resolutions was to try and complete a half-marathon this year but I became disheartened when the two half-marathons I had intended to train for I realised I wouldn’t be available to participate in, owing to immovable factors like a wedding and work (for lack of money reasons the races needed to be in the local area). I stopped running in January and felt a little sad at the thought that I wouldn’t achieve my 2015 goal.
Then, last week, I discovered another half-marathon in the Geneva area in September. Having not been training regularly since January, and worried by the challenging time limits for completion, I ummed and ahhed about whether I should go for this or not. On Sunday I decided to quit worrying about why I shouldn’t do this and just sign up. Overthinking can often let fears take charge, so a bit of impulsiveness now and then is good for you!
Now I am motivated to train again, on the internet I found a proper training schedule for beginners and I’m determined to give it my best shot. It may be that on the day I fall behind the time limits and my attempt isn’t officially recorded but if I can still complete the course, even if in my own time, this will still be an achievement. Even if I don’t complete the course at least giving it a go is something to be proud of. I’m not running to win or compete against others, I want to do this for me.
On Monday I was presented with another intimidating notion, that of auditioning for a play with a local drama club. I have wanted to get back into acting for some time, having enjoyed this at school, but although I tried for a couple of things at university (mostly unsuccessfully) I have been lacking in confidence to put myself out there and audition for anything since.
Nonetheless, as part of my realisation that a large part of acting like a grown up is just that, I thought I would start with the acting before I got to the audition. I decided to act the part of someone who isn’t afraid to audition.
I wasn’t expecting to get a part in a four person cast so lacked any real fear during my audition. I enjoyed reading lines in a couple of scenes and I took on the director’s request to read in an American accent without flinching. And although, ultimately, I wasn’t cast in the play I enjoyed the process and was gratified to be told by one fellow auditionee that he thought I was the best actress, and for others to say my American accent was really good (years of watching American tv shows clearly paid off).
After the audition I expected to be rejected, not because I failed but because the director showed a clear preference for a number of actors. However, it still stung a bit this morning to officially hear I had not been cast. But that’s okay, sometimes putting myself out there is going to smart a little bit and I suppose it is this that makes it scary.
The idea of failing at something can often be used as a valid excuse not to try. Not trying can save you from a bit of hurt every now and again but the not trying can also prevent you from finding out who you are and what you are capable of, from bringing you closer to success on future attempts.
Whilst I wouldn’t advocate doing things only because they frighten you, no way would I want to have some up-close experience with a room full of tarantulas, but where fear holds you back from things you do want to do then that’s where it becomes a problem, if you let it. And I have no intention of letting my fears get in the way of who I want to be.
I wonder what potentially frightening challenges next week might have in store for me? I hope I’ll be brave enough to face them.
14 thoughts on “Wear sunscreen”
Well done you! Half my facebook seems to swear by the couch to 5K for running training (half my facebook also seems to be doing the Great North Run based on how many times I’ve ben asked to sponsor people for it!).
wowzers, sounds like your facebook (or at least half of it) is filled with active types, I feel a little less smug now! I’m quite pleased my run doesn’t require the raising of sponsorship so don’t have to go cap in hand or facebook wall post requesting to anyone this time!
Good for you! Sounds like you’re doing great things and shirking from your fears at all.
I’m trying my best to make the most of my days but often that little lazy voice within just shouts at me until I spend an entire weekend in front of some rubbish show or other on Netflix (you know its bad when after X number of epidoses straight it actually wants to check you are that lazy and still watching tv and not that you just left it running accidentally)
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Yes, I know what you mean.
Love the idea of trying new things, it’s a great philosophy for life!
Thanks, it’s an active choice to try and break out of my comfort zone (and by comfort zone, I mean pyjamas)
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Same here! I tend to be a hermit if left to my own devices. What can I say? I love wearing my pj’s and lounging at home with no makeup.
It is pretty great to do that form time to time 🙂
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Good for you, It pays off sometimes to just go for something that you want to do! Who knows where it could lead you? 🙂
That’s what I think. I certainly wasn’t expecting to enjoy the audition as much as I did without getting a part so that was an unexpected bonus
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Get training girl – no pain, no gain my lovely!
Dragging myself out of bed to stay on the training schedule this morning was no easy feat after plane was super delayed and we got home very late last night..but I did manage it 🙂