When I was little we used to go to a soft play centre called Jungle Bungle. It was great. It had a tv room where Cartoon Network played on a loop, plenty of ball pits and some fun slides. But there was one slide that I wouldn’t dare go down. It was a big blue slide and in my seven year old mind it was as high as Everest. I refused point blank to go down it (I was a complete scaredy cat as a kid – Still am) and would watch my playmates from the ball pool as they slid down, laughing and whooping with exhilaration. One day I must have decided that watching them wasn’t enough (I don’t remember exactly why I decided this) and I braved the BIG slide.
I’m sure you can guess what happened next.
It wasn’t that bad.
And I enjoyed it so much, I went down it again and again and again.
I’d avoided that slide like the plague. I’d missed out on going down it with friends, I’d missed out on loads of fun and for what? Because I was scared. Scared of what exactly, I don’t know, but I let that fear stop me from doing something fun.
Years and years later and I’m still learning to say yes more, to step out of my comfort zone and to try new things.
There’s this little niggling voice in the back of my mind telling me all the possible scenarios of what could go wrong if I have a go at this thing. It tells me that everyone will laugh if I fail. It tells me that I’m rubbish at all of the things and I may aswell quit before I’ve even started. My own self doubt and lack of confidence seem to creep up every time I want to have a go at something different – Whether it’s something thrill seeking like cage diving with great whites (I couldn’t master the breathing apparatus so ended up watching from the deck) or something low key and chilled out like photography or cross-stitch (why spend money on a new hobby when you are only gunna jack after a few attempts?).
It basically tells me that I’m not going to be any good at it so why bother?
The little voice doesn’t always win though.
Having a husband who is a bit of a thrill seeker means that sometimes that pesky little voice gets drowned out by him telling me to just have a go, that if I fail at least I had a go and that I will seriously regret not taking every opportunity that is handed to me. Then if that doesn’t work he tells me that if I don’t do it, he will do it without me and I’ll have to listen to him bang on about it for the rest of our lives. Listening to him instead of the PLV (pesky little voice, obviously) has led to me falling head over heels in love with snorkelling, climbing a motherflipping mountain (it was small but man alive was it steep!), spending a night on Gili Trawangan in Indonesia (Jody bought our boat tickets from a waiter – I was convinced we were being conned) and following a dirt track – that looked like something out of Wolf Creek – to a sheltered bay where whales went to give birth to their calves.
Whilst these activities aren’t quite jumping out of a plane style adventures (something he did for his 21st birthday by the way), they are things that I would have never have gone on to do on my own. And even though my husband’s reckless side sometimes worries me sick and drives me mad, I’m so grateful to him for giving me the push that I need when it comes to doing something totally out of my comfort zone.
He has had a pretty big impact on my life (a positive one) and I maybe don’t tell him that enough. Sure I might have gone to Australia by myself but tbh, deep down I know I wouldn’t have and as it’s the defining moment of my twenties (so far anyway).
So today, on his twenty ninth birthday, I’m saying thank you.
I’m saying thank you for teaching me to say yes more, for forcing me out of my bubble and for making every day that little bit better.
Thanks for reading.