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The Soapbox Chronicles: Taking a Chance On a Terrible Idea

Frances: Well I mean, who wouldn’t love to buy a villa in Tuscany. But the way my life has been going, that would be a terrible idea.

Katherine: Terrible ideas. Don’t you just love those.

Under The Tuscan Sun

Sure it’s a chick flick, but I love this movie and not just because there’s a scene in Positano. Guys, I wouldn’t blame you if you secretly love it too. It’s about a woman who was depressed and at a very low point in her life, and she took a chance on something incredibly risky and a bit scary and turned her life completely around. It made me think about how often times we let the realistic and logical side of ourselves keep us from experiencing some amazing things. Why are we so concerned about being realistic anyway? What’s the harm in dreaming big and having a few crazy, I-cant-believe-I-just-did-that moments in our lives? I could use a few more of those myself. And don’t we typically regret the things we didn’t do more than the things we did?

Katherine: You have to live spherically, in many directions. Never lose your childish enthusiasm, and things will come your way.

Last summer I was very undecided about whether or not to leave NYC for a few months and travel. One night, I was out at a bar with some friends, and I had struck up conversation with a girl I had just met. Out of the blue she drops into the conversation how her and her husband decided to leave their jobs and travel Asia for a few months. I couldn’t believe how ironic it was that she brought that up since I hadn’t mentioned that I was having such a mental struggle about taking my own career break. When I told her about my fear of returning to NYC and having difficulty in finding another job, she responded that they had the same concerns but they knew that they were smart and capable, and they were confident that they would land on their feet sooner or later. That girl will never know this, but that conversation may have been the tipping point in my decision to go. The decision itself is the hardest part after all, and I had put up obstacles out of fear. When you simplify things, ask why not, and have some faith in yourself, the decision suddenly becomes a lot easier. And now that I’m back in NYC and in the heart of that scary stage of returning to “normal life” again, I’m realizing that this is also part of the whole experience. I didn’t leave just to travel – I wanted to learn more, see more, and most importantly, be more in my life. And I’m still growing.

So maybe your “terrible idea” isn’t taking a trip around the world (and if it is, I hope you go!), but perhaps there’s something that you’ve been struggling with and can’t seem to fully rationalize. I feel that most of us can talk ourselves out of anything when we want to, but what about taking a chance on yourself, branching out and being a little more fearless in some of the decisions in your life. Live spherically.

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* Thanks to Hallie for sharing this quote!

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Decide to Go

“All you’ve got to do is decide to go and the hardest part is over. So go!”

Across Asia on the Cheap, the first Lonely Planet travel guide written by founders Tony and Maureen Wheeler back in 1973.

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December 21, 2011 · 4:45 am













“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.”

– Dalai Lama

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November 13, 2011 · 12:30 pm