“Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.“—Ralph Waldo Emerson
The first part of this beautiful sentiment, I have been lucky enough to live. I have always been bold, much more afraid of being haunted by the What Ifs than worried about the repercussions of the What Dids. Even though I feel those repercussions as deeply as anyone, timid, surefooted or otherwise. (See also: My Beautiful Maybe.)
The second part of this sentiment, I need to internalize more. I need to accept that Part I and Part II of this quote are weighted together, leaning against each other like an A-frame of possibility: one without the other and the whole structure falls flat.
I don’t want to live in a tidy brick house at the bottom of the hill that can withstand most of life’s predictable storms.
I want to live on top of the mountain, even if in that rickety A-frame. I want the views and the majesty, the heavens and the earth—even though up here I’m not sure if the weather will be wicked or glorious. And even if I have to accept that there exists no weathervane that can tell me what is coming.
I am sometimes afraid that I will never find my peace. But then I have to remember that the fear is the teacher, the guardian who stands in the way of true knowledge. On the other side of every fear is freedom.
I want to accept the challenge of the experiment. How much desire for certainty can I let go of, in order to feel truly free to be whomever I am meant to be?