“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”
Across the globe, people are reflecting about the past year and pensive about the changes they want to implement for this year. The 2016 year holds infinite possibilities and renewed hope for a better year. We have been provided with a clean slate. Let us make use of it! It is a time for us to take that leap into the unknown, to make ourselves vulnerable in hopes that we achieve happiness.
Exposing ourselves and doing something that utterly terrifies us is no easy feat. Taking that figurative leap or, in my case, a literal leap is intimidating. However, it can open so many new avenues that have yet to be explored.
Although I consider myself to be a wild spirit who loves to explore the unknown, there are still many things that terrify me. Zip-lining in Costa Rica was one of those fears. My sister had chosen this specific excursion to be part of her 30th birthday adventures. I was utterly mortified of putting my faith and my life in a steel cable in some obscure rainforest. While we had zip-lining guides to aid us, these men were strangers whom I knew nothing about. I have no qualms about putting my life in the hands of loved ones, but entrusting it to strangers in a foreign country was difficult. Yet, it was the steel cable that frightened me the most. What if it snapped? As my turn approached, my heart began to race and my ears felt muffled. Soon enough I was hyperventilating and not willing to take the risk. It was the encouraging words from my sister and her friends that helped me overcome my fear. After the first two lines, I felt more at ease and exhilarated by it. It was then I was able to truly appreciate God’s creation and marvel at the beauty of La Fortuna’s rainforest.
It was glorious and thrilling! “In spite of all my fears, I [was able to] see it all so clear.” (Of Monsters and Men lyrics). As I slide across the final seventh cable, I prayed to God. I thanked Him for all of His blessings in my life and on this trip. As I was giving thanks, I realized I had a request for Him, one I myself hadn’t realized. I told Him I was ready to fall in love, to find that person who knocked me off my feet and left me wondering. Never before had I realized I had been holding myself back. Overcoming my fear of zip-lining had provided clarity to what my greatest fear was—falling in love.
My adventures and experiences in Costa Rica are memories that I will cherish forever. Ironically, I wasn’t all that excited to go in the first place. I was hesitant about the country and not quite sure what to expect. It was surely a lesson to remember that extraordinary things can occur in the places you least expect them to.
On a final note, when I helped lead green sea turtle hatchlings to the ocean in Tortuguero, I was struck by their sheer determination and eagerness. I marveled at how such tiny little creatures were ready to take on the vast ocean, a place filled with endless dangers. I thought of what our tour guide said about only 1 in 100 making it to adulthood. It saddened me and I prayed that they would survive the perils they encountered. The hatchlings were taking such a risk and they did not even know it. It also made me wonder about what risks we would take if we were unaware of the potential adverse effects that might arise. We might be able to live truly uninhibited. The cuts, bruises, and burns could help us become resilient individuals with a story we are proud to share. Let us all take risks this year; let us dash to shoreline and see where the current carries us.