Starting a website, a business, a blog - any new adventure - is always a bit like going on a first date. You begin nervously, scared of what someone else will think of you. You don't know how to dress, what to wear, what to say or what is going to happen. Basically, you've taken a big leap of faith and are doing what a lot of people should do more often - you're putting yourself out there.
If you've ever been on a blind date, applied for a job, joined a sports team, approached a stranger or anything that's got you questioning your own self-worth, chances are you'll know what I'm talking about. That sweaty-palms feeling where you're not too sure you should have bought into the old latin phrase Carpe diem. This is what this year has felt like for me.
In a lot of ways I decided to stop living the way I thought everybody expect me to live, and I decided to go - All Out - on the big, crazy ideas I concocted when I was about fourteen and watched a documentary on the famine in Africa that moved me to tears. I decided, resolutely, that I was going to do something about it. In short, as an idealistic teenager with the cynicism, jadedness and critics not yet at work, I was going to change the world.
Since then, I made my way through highschool and started a five-year university degree without much thought or action as to making that conviction into reality. I had, up until fairly recently, not disappointed the expecatations of work, study and career path placed upon me by the usual suspects - well-meaning parents, career-thirsty colleagues, stern faced teachers and the anonymous masses that make up 'everybody'. It has become apparent to me that not only are these expecations not something I want to live up to, they are also something that I don't have to meet.
I started this blog a little nervous, a little tentative. Who was going to read it? What would they think? What if somebody thought it was wierd? - all of the rational arguments that stop people from taking big risks were at play. Nonetheless, I started it here, and now have gathered my courage enough to begin to share here, truthfully, what I am doing - what is going through my mind and brought me up until this point. It's fear that keeps me from posting too often about myself, it's fear that makes me second-guess what I want to post and if people will genuinely like what I have to say. Consequently too often I hide behind other peoples words, other peoples work.
With the encouragement from a few close friends and family - and the lovely words from a lot of like-minded people I have never met face to face but have thought enough to leave a friendly comment - I'll be sharing here more of where I am at, how I got here and where I want to be going - what I want to be doing.
I'm still nervous, I'm still scared - but as with all first dates, job applications or opportunities - once you get over the first few hiccups, the awkward silences and initial shyness - it can be the beginning of something great, something worthwhile or even just an epic adventure you never saw coming.