Sometimes I am terrified of living the life that I want. Since I was young I have held back from doing things that I want to do out of fear.
It's why I still can't drive or ride a bike.
While in some ways I have been very brave, like moving to Ireland at 16, moving to Paris after a year of university, daring to write a book and finding the strength to let go of relationships that no longer serve me, I have a long way to go. This is hard to write and hard to admit to myself.
I can't count the number of opportunities, even if they are as simple as invites to a concert or a party, that I have turned down out of fear. Fear of not fitting in, looking good enough, not being liked, or wanting to leave too soon.
I have also wasted a lot of precious time doing things that do not make me happy.
For example, in my late teens and early twenties I would spend a lot of time in stores. I didn't buy a lot, but I was always in malls, clothing stores or grocery stores looking at things to buy. And the truth is I hate shopping. I love beautiful things but I am much happier out in nature, going to a museum or a gallery or spending time with someone I care about.
When my last relationship first started my partner brought out the best in me. He was adventurous and inspired me to do more of what I actually loved. We went hiking, visited markets, went to galleries, checked out new restaurants and were often spontaneous in our outings. While this faded a little over time I'll never forget how good it made me feel.
It reminded me of the life I should be living. Of the life I live when I am happiest and most in tune with myself. It is the kind of life I am trying to rebuild for myself now.
I have made a big change and leap in my life but now I'm working on the little things. I'm spending more time outside. I'm saying yes more. The other night I danced by myself under the stars.
I don't want to waste any more of my life buried in fear or missing out on opportunities. The beauty I crave is out there, even within myself, and waiting to be explored.