When was the last time you did something that frightened you? Like with your legs literally shaking?
Me, that was last week. I went paddle boarding for the first time, on the Erie Canal. I had never been and I was nervous for multiple reasons. The main being I did NOT want to fall into the canal, the water is murky and who knows what it is contaminated with. I didn’t plan on paddle boarding, I went to the canal to kayak, but I was inspired by another woman who had just had her first paddle board experience.
So I went for it! After a quick tutorial, I got in the water and paddle boarded on my knees for five mins before I attempted to stand. When I stood, I quickly got back down because my SHAKY legs surely would have landed me in canal water.
After sitting for a moment, I thought, “I can’t do this. I came to kayak and relax from a stressful week, and this is stressing me out even more!”. So I decided to turn around and exchange the paddle board for a kayak. I got close to the dock when I convinced myself to stick it out and to just paddle on me knees for the next hour if need be, but I was not going to give in to my fear.
In many ways, this sums up my life. Being courageous is one of my most favorite Wawa traits. Yes, I may be afraid to do something, but I manage to find the courage to do it anyway. Like moving to Rochester, living here, and choosing to stay here, even if at points along the way I was frightened.
Today marks five years since I drove away from Arizona. Just me and what I could pack into a Uhaul. I’ve been thinking about my journey throughout the weekend. I’ll find myself shaking my head about some decisions I have made, and smiling about others.
This week also marks other five year anniversaries, such as: the day I actually arrived in Rochester, the day I met my bonus sister, and the day I started my first day at the job that brought me here. So much has happened in these five years!
I hope reading this encourages you to not let fear keep you from living your life. It is okay to be afraid, but don’t let it control how you live life.
On the canal, I continued to paddle board on my knees for about fifteen minutes, until I decided to give standing a shot. I took a deep breath and said a silent prayer, asking that I not fall into the yucky water. And guess what? I stood, my legs no longer shaking. For the next 45 minutes, I stood firm and I paddled. I was so proud of myself when I was done and safely back on land.
I am so proud of myself today, because there were multiple moments on my road trip from Arizona to New York, when I wanted to turn the car around and say “nevermind, I don’t want to leave all that I have ever known.”
Once I arrived, I spent so much time trying to not enjoy this city. I continuously talked about leaving, afraid to enjoy this place, afraid of what loving it would mean. This year, I stopped being afraid and have begun to fully enjoy where I am.
Why would God need a girl, from the Navajo Nation, to move across the country? What is the purpose? I have no idea! I just have faith that there is a purpose for me here in ROC.