Love with a chance of drowning: My fearful adventure
Meeting you was fate, becoming your friend was a choice, but falling in love with you was beyond my control.
Is it better to know or to not know? Whatever side of the fence you stand on; or maybe you’re a straddler, regardless I recently finished up a book by Torre DeRoche titled Love with a chance of drowning that addresses this topic. It’s a true account of Torre’s journey from the life of a city girl with a fear of open water to facing her fears and finding love and adventure on a journey across the pacific.
I’m not going to summarize the book for you, a summary would be boring and besides, real life stories are way cooler. So in the spirit of Torre’s book I’d like to share with you my fearful adventure regarding love and vulnerability and invite you to do the same.
Lets talk about FATE baby, lets talk about YOU and ME, lets talk about all the good things and the bad things that may be, lets talk about FATE…
(sung in my best Salt N’ Peppa voice)
Essentially fate is a concept of time and circumstance in which everything has a destination, is predetermined, and happens for a reason. Events are outside a persons control and determined by some supernatural or higher power. Some believe this to be Gods work, some other entity, or just the powers of the universe. Honestly, it doesn’t matter a ton where your beliefs in fate lie the main principle is that you believe things are out of your control.
In Greek mythology this is known as the Moirai. The Moirai holds that three goddesses Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos controlled the life and destiny of every living person. Clotho was responsible for starting life, Lachesis duty was to tell the story, and Astropos concluded when life would end.
I’m not going to beat around the bush; I’m not convinced that everything happens for a reason. I prefer to believe that I have a choice in how my life plays out. Now this is where it might get a little crazy for some of you, but I like crazy so here goes.
I’d like you to take a minute to think about this question. What if fate had unexpected plans for you?
Yup, I’m saying what if fate didn’t really have a plan. What if fate was sitting in his chair, stroking his cat, raised his pinky to the corner of his mouth and had no clue what it has in store for you.
What if fate, who now strangely enough looks like doctor evil just wants to throw stuff at a wall, see what sticks, and enjoy the ride as you try to make choices, figure it out, and experience this journey known as life?
I know that sort of seems ass-backwards as the entire concept of fate is based around everything happening for a reason but if that’s the case why not just sit on our fannies twiddling our thumbs and let life take it’s course?
The answer is because we can’t.
To believe that everything happens for a reason in the traditional sense completely undermines the experience of life. You have the ability to make choices and take action every single day towards any goal, pursuit, need, or want and to think for a second that your choices don’t matter because they are condemned to an inevitable end is the definition of giving up in my eyes.
Now before I get to long winded, or is it to late for that? I’d like to move forward with respect to the book. Torre breaks down each chapter into the elements that defined her reality and experiences at that moment in time. Those elements are fire, water, air, earth, and two years later as chapters of her book.
For this post I’d like to do something similar and define my own personal fear, thoughts, and action plan to overcome that fear. There’s no sense in pretending that I, you, or anyone else has no fear. We’re all afraid of something, and here’s to hoping you find my fear useful in your own quest to overcome yours.
Jody Sticca via Compfight
Fire to me represents love. Passionate, hot, comforting but dangerous, and can be either beautiful like a lit candle in a dark quiet room, or painful like the touch of a hot iron on the skin.
Recently in my own life and amongst conversations with others I’ve come to realize that most of us have no bigger concern, struggle, questions, and uncertainty than when it comes to love and relationships.
So here goes… I’m scared of it. Not just scared but scared shitless. I’m terribly afraid of the idea of commitment and allowing yourself to be completely vulnerable to another. All those what-ifs set in.
- What if I’m not good looking enough?
- What if I don’t make enough money?
- What if I’m not funny or entertaining enough?
- What if I fall in love and get hurt
- What if I invest all this time into someone and it doesn’t work out
- What if they cheat on me?
- What about all the other people/relationships/sex I’ll be missing out on
- What if… queue the world’s smallest violin playing just for me
This is my inherent problem with love, I am constantly thinking about all the things all the struggles, all of the negative aspects and uncertainty of what love might bring me, all of the things I’ll be missing out on and forgetting all about the wonderful opportunities it can promote and bring to my life.
- The comfort but excitement
- The challenges and personal growth
- The opportunity to contribute to someone else’s existence in a positive manor
- The companionship
- The energy yet calm it brings
- The health benefits
- The euphoria
So what am I doing to address my fear?
I’m changing my definition of it. I use to believe that there was only one true love for each of us out there, that any other person would just be second rate. I considered this to be romantic and the movies and television did a great job encouraging my position.
Today my definition has changed; I see love as a choice that we are all blessed to make. Instead of having only one person we are destined to be with we instead get to choose who we want to love and be with and someone else gets to choose to love and be with you.
How cool is that?
Instead of it being predetermined you actually get to choose and someone actually gets to choose you. To me that is as romantic as it comes. Out of all the 7 billion plus people anyone of us could be with we have the ability to decide who we want to compliment us and help us to grow in this world where it can often feel so difficult to do so.
I’m studying love. It’s true, I’m reading as many books (contact me for a list) and talking to as many experts that I can about the topic. The scariest things in the world are often those that we don’t understand, it’s my goal to create a breadth of knowledge so that I become as familiar and comfortable with the topic as possible.
I’m accepting it. I use to be one of those people that was uncomfortable receiving gifts from others, awkward when someone would try to compliment me, and very withdrawn when someone showed me any form of affection.
If I didn’t accept it I wouldn’t have to give it back right?
All this does is push people away. If someone shows you love say thanks, that’s it, all you have to do is let him or her know you appreciate it by saying thank you and that you’re grateful. Most people don’t show love with the expectation of receiving it in return; they do it simply to do it because they care.
I’m practicing it, slowly. I’m trying to build the habit of love by doing something kind for someone else on a daily basis, by practicing gratitude daily, and by doing something for myself everyday as well.
I’m also being more honest with people and myself. Saying what’s on my mind and freely expressing my emotions as they come, crying, laughing, and even anger. I use to do these things in the company of only myself. I guess you could say I’m keeping it real… just me being me more often.
I’m getting rejected more often. This might sound weird but I’m actually looking to get rejected…. And not just by women ☺ in all areas of my life. I’m trying to get more comfortable with failure, a little pain, and discomfort. The goal is to experience short-term discomfort so that I can have long-term success.
This is something I’ve done a bit of in the past by taking cold showers, or negotiating the price of a cup of coffee (thanks Julien). But recently I’ve come to find that I still need a little more practice. I came across a website called rejectiontherapy.com in which rejection is turned into a game. Long story short the goal is to get rejected in some sort of fashion everyday for the next 30 days… yeah, sounds like fun huh?
Whenever I want some clarity on a subject I like to take some time out by myself and journal on the subject, I’ve found that getting all those thoughts, emotions, and questions circling around in my head on paper is some of the best therapy of all.
I’m checking my ego at the door. I’m setting free any idea that I have to be flawless or perfect. The people I have the most respect and admiration for in my own life are those that are consistently true to their authentic self. They’re comfortable in their own skin, embrace their failures, imperfections, and happy to share them. They spend more time learning from them then they do trying to avoid them.
A few weeks ago I spent an evening down by the beach and scribbled down on a piece of paper this question.
“Is the reward of love greater than the risk of being completely vulnerable?”
We’ve all been hurt before, experienced pain, felt alone, depressed, or like no one can relate. We all have unique fears but for the most part many of us share the same fears and insecurities. So that guy sitting next to you in the coffee shop, you’re coworker in the next cubicle, your buddy that you had dinner with last night, and the cute girl or guy you met the other day all have something in common with you, me, and each other.
The opportunity for us to continually improve and learn from one another is out there. We all can get better at being human if we just allow ourselves.
So back to that original discussion of fate, is my experience with love predetermined, is it something that is already laid out and planned for me? I prefer to not think so. I have a choice in the matter, the way I want to experience love and personal relationships is completely up to me.
I’m not so much committed to fate as I am to the opportunity to direct my own life through my choices and actions, especially when it comes to love. How about you?
Here’s the link to Torre’s book if you all are interested in checking it out. I might just start doing this with some of the books I love. If you have any recommendations for me please give me a shout so I can add them to my reading list.
This post is part of the My Fearful Adventure series, which is celebrating the launch of Torre DeRoche’s debut book Love with a Chance of Drowning, a true adventure story about one girl’s leap into the deep end of her fears.
“Wow, what a book. Exciting. Dramatic. Honest. Torre DeRoche is an author to follow.” Australian Associated Press
“… a story about conquering the fears that keep you from living your dreams.” Nomadicmatt.com
“In her debut, DeRoche has penned such a beautiful, thrilling story you’ll have to remind yourself it’s not fiction.” Courier Mail