Based outside of Boston, Massachusetts, The Thought Porch is a personal blog by aspiring novelist Max Ghannam. Posts explore the mind and body, as well motivational thoughts on life and sources of inspiration.

Taking The Plunge

I'm always learning new things. Or identifying the sources of successes and failures. It's part of being retrospective. Clear eyes. They better break down and assess situations. They make it so much easier to see why things happened the way they did. Oftentimes making me feel embarrassed that I was so blind to begin with. I'm starting to accept that as a fact of life. To find ease in the answers discovered through hindsight. Knowing that they are bettered applied as data to inform future decisions than trying to go back and change what already happened.

Well, one of those things I realized is that life is all about taking the plunge. It's one of those obvious things. Something I've heard in a bunch of Disney movies or what have you. Yet, I don't often acknowledge when I'm diving into something. It's even harder to identify real-time reservations about something as fear of jumping. 

When I started this blog, I took a plunge. I had no idea what to expect. Simple as that. My time is precious, and in demand as is (aren't I special?). When it came time to put pen to paper and get going on The Thought Porch, I had to ask myself a lot of questions. What if I don't have enough time? What if no one likes it? Even worse, what if it becomes popular and there's demand for me to do more? Could I handle the added stress? Even though I was so scared of so many things, I felt compelled to take the plunge. As if the water was calling to me. It could not be resisted.

How often do I avoid taking the plunge, though? More often than not, when I'm scared I tuck tail and run. I bet. I can think of so many moments, gripped with fear, where I sat paralyzed as life moved around me. What could have been?

Looking back at my life, I am starting to recognize that those times when I face the fear, where I take the plunge into the unknown -- those times make the deepest, most penetrating impressions on my life. They're the difficult things that make life all worth while. So many fears, dating back to the first day of school -- probably even earlier -- that life would not be worth living if I hadn't faced them. Looking back, I usually feel so stupid thinking I was ever scared to begin with. 

Yet, sometimes I still put the blinders on. The ones that make it easy to let the fear run past my guard, incognito. Let it dig its claws deep into my sides. Holding me stiff and motionless for fear of all the ways things could go wrong. Unable to envision any of the ways it could make me better. Why do I hold onto those blinders?

I'm not sure if it will work, but after taking my most recent plunge, I'm deciding to make the effort to more aware. More mindful. More capable of identifying the fear and overcoming it.


Digging Deep