Episode 54 – The Courage to Adventure

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Fear will always exist. It’s part of life. Yet, some have figured out how to move forward courageously despite their fears. And, sometimes completely overcome some fears through the exercising of the courage on a regular basis.

This episode uses a children’s book, called DJ’s Off-Road Adventures as the basis of sharing about three people that helped me learn more about courage in the summer of 1994.

Thank you to Katharine, Bill, and Tall Mark for setting an example of living courageously and viewing life as one big adventure. I have come far from those experiences, but am discovering new areas of fear that must be approached with the courage to adventure.

Episode 54 Show Notes

Episode 54 Transcript

This is Rebecca Clark. Episode 54. The Courage to Adventure This podcast is for anyone that knows they haven’t yet found and offered up their best work but are compelled to seek it out and do it. Are you ready to do your dust? Hello. It’s starting to be summer, and that always brings up feelings in me of wanting to take an adventure. At the same time, I’m going through this very reflective process of trying to combine my past self with self. I want to be in the future, and as a result, I’m reviewing lots of journals and gaining more insights about myself. But today I wanted to start off, first of all by Sharing With You a story written by David McBee, and he’s been on the podcast before sharing his book Everyday Lessons every day. But he also gave a hint in that episode that he had a Children’s book coming out, and I have it, and it’s called DJs off road adventures. Deejay faces his fear. It’s a great little book because it’s about this vehicle, right? Picture a royal blue jeep and he lives in the city, right? He drives on the Street. That’s what he was meant to dio. He has the perfect tires for the street, the perfect set up, and yet in his heart, he wishes he could go off roading. And so, even though he’s living this life a regular city dwelling Jeep vehicle, he goes and purchases little parts for himself to make himself feel like he’s an off roading vehicle. While some of Hiss friends air fellow vehicles feel like he’s pushing the limits right, they bully him or are really negative to him, saying, I you can’t be that you’re made for this road. You got to stay on the road kind of fall in line. Why are you pretending to be something you’re not? And D. J listens to these opinions and takes them seriously and kind of gets down and frustrated and thinking, you know, maybe my dream isn’t realistic, but luckily he goes in a different part of town, is just a park, and he runs into these other vehicles, and he was surprised by how they responded to him. They really liked his custom wheels, they said he had a great smile, and they invited him to a diner with, um and at the diner. He finds out that the leader of this little group of friends does actually go off roading, and they were going to have an excursion, and they invited him along to Moab, Utah. And they said, It’s like a big off road playground and details worried because he doesn’t have any experience. He’s always had this dream. He has a little bit of fear, but they’re like, No, no, come along, We will help you. And it’s interesting to see that even though he’s excited about being with this group of friends, he still wasn’t sure, even though they had kind of pumped him up and made him feel great inside by what they said, he still had some of the same worries that he had had with the other cars he’d interacted with that were negative and a little bit bullying, and so that was still in him. That fear was still in him, even though others expressed confidence to him and he was talking to his dad and he’s thinking, wasn’t going to go to Moab on this adventure with his friends because of all of this fears, and his father said, and I quote courage doesn’t mean you’re not afraid. It means you don’t let fear stop you. And so that inspired deejay and he’s like, I’m gonna go, I’m gonna do it. Well, he gets to Moab and they’re going up these very steep inclines on the rocks. And he has a panic attack and is incapacitated. And what I love is that David McBee actually talks about his story in one of his podcast, and he has actual audio footage of him having that attack in real life because this was based upon a real life story that he experienced. And you can hear the anxiety and the stress and the fear in his voice. And yet there’s this voice of calm that comes in and says, You’ve got it. You’re okay. We’re here to help you just follow us. Step by step. You’re going to get through this. We’re gonna help you. And so the person, not the person. Right. Well, we know it’s a person, but the cars help D J through this experience, and they get to the top of this mountain. And he has the most amazing view he’s seen in his life in the most amazing feeling he’s ever felt, and he realizes that whole challenge and the fear and the courage involved was worth it. It was totally worth it. And along with that feeling comes the feeling that he was helped thereby friends by friends who had probably already gone through that process of working through their fear and having the courage anyway. And what I really like about this story is that after D. J goes through this experience, it doesn’t end there. He keeps it going and having this experience but also bringing others along, bringing others along that had those same kinds of discouraging or fearful or anxiety type feelings about trying something new or trying something they’d always hoped and wanted but felt like they weren’t enough or that it just wasn’t worth getting out of their comfort zone for, and so he helps others on their journey. I’m glad that David McBee decided to right down this journey, because sometimes we need these journeys and very simple formats that teach deep lessons. And what’s really fun for me is that at the same time I was reading this book to my son a few times, I was also embarking on a journey of going through my old journals and I had decided to target a particular time in my life with ease journals, and it was actually a time where I lived in Utah for part of my college experience. The journals I chose were because they’re in a part of life where I just have very good memories, and I know that there was a lot of pain amidst those memories. But it was a time where I had renewed hope and faith and confidence, and this is 1994. I was coming off of being out of college for almost two years because I went and was a missionary. So I was as a missionary. I was planning every day I was teaching every day. I was trying to build relationships with people every day, and I thought that I gained a lot of confidence in that experience, and I was excited to come back to college because I could take my newfound confidence and apply it in my classes, in my relationships and in pursuing whatever was next in life. Now that’s not to say that I didn’t have confidence before my mission, but I had very specific confidence in certain areas of my life. I was very comfortable being a resident assistant. For example, I was very comfortable. If I was given a responsibility, I was going to fulfill it and it would give me a chance to interact and work with others in interesting ways. But there were some areas of my life that I was not confident. I was not confident in my relationships with men at a really hard time having confidence in interacting with men that I really wanted toe get to know and we’re attracted to. So that was an area that I thought that was going to be easy when I came home from my mission. Even though when you’re on a mission, you don’t date, you’re gone. And so I don’t know why I thought I was just gonna be confident in every area of life now that I was back. And I found out very quickly that that was not true, especially as I read through my journal for that year of 1994 at the same time, this time reading my journal through. I had some insights that I had not had before and I wanted to share because as it applies to DJs off road adventure, there were some people that were specifically in my life for a purpose, and part of their purpose was to help Rebecca have more courage. And I realized that after I read all the journal entries and everything and granted, they were friends and they were people I enjoyed interacting with. But they really did help me step into my next level of courage. And I have to say I’m a very poor student, encourage I’m a risk taker and some things, you know, trying different products and trying different jobs and stuff. But when it comes to other areas of life, I hesitate. I hold back. I don’t do what I really want to dio. I kind of settle for something a little more comfortable. And so I took more steps with my courage during that time. But I can see how I still languish in some of these areas and have a lot to learn. But I have come a long way in the last 20 years of years, So I wanted to start off by saying When I did return to college, I was searching for a job. And I remember it was one of my first days back and I go and I stand at this job board and I’m standing there reading through the stuff, and this very tall, handsome man comes and starts to look at the board with me, and this became my first indication that I didn’t have courage because I became incapacitated. In that moment, I couldn’t say anything to him. I couldn’t even read the board. I was like I should say something. This person, it’s so great to be back in this place where I can meet people and I just sat there turning in my thoughts and then I don’t know who left first. But one of us left and went on our way. And I remember walking home from that experience, so bothered that I couldn’t even take a simple interaction at a job board and have a casual conversation that I still felt a certain way about myself that prohibited me from just naturally talking to another human being in a way that should have been completely normal. I would have done that with any other person, right? So I wanted to share that experience because that ties into something. I’m gonna share it the end. But in these journals it was clear that I came back. I was super excited to live where I chose to live at this place called Campus Plaza, because I knew before I had left that I had friends that had lived there. And it was just this kind of fish bowl where you could see what everyone was doing, and you could play basketball and be at the pool and just have these great interactions and everything, even though is this junky old place where you practically lived on top of each other, right? Three people for bedroom, that kind of thing. And I got started with a group of people that where we just had a lot of fun. We could hang out at the pool, play basketball, go on runs to the store, go up the canyon, go to the movies or find all these little funky activities to Dio. And there were quite a few people in this group. But there is always different combinations of people at any given time. And yet there were three names that consistently kept coming up in my journal that they were always there. And I know that I sometimes don’t recognize when someone is always there, right? I think I mentioned this in a prior episode about Laurel Hornberger, who was great at holding space. She is always there to listen to me, laugh, ask questions, that kind of thing. She was so present for me that it was a non issue. It was a non thought right. You take these moments or these people for granted sometimes if they’re always there, and I feel like I did that with these three people. But yet they played a pivotal role for me that they don’t even realize, and I don’t want toe overdramatize it. But at the same time, their names come up in my journals enough that I know I was subconsciously aware of the need for them in my life at that time. Now, along with this, I was running into friends and family from all parts of my life, right from different states. I’d lived in, like Michigan and Indiana, people from my mission cousins that I hadn’t seen in years. And so amongst all this I have all these other names in my journal, which some of them will probably come out in other episodes. There were a lot of different people in my life I was enjoying interacting with, and so I don’t want to discount that right now. But when it comes to having the courage to have adventures and to work through fear, I feel like thes three people are great examples of this then and now. So I wanted to start with Katherine because she was my roommate and she looks totally different than May. She has a different personality than I dio. I don’t even remember what her major Waas and she had. You know, a group of her friends, too. But we were roommates, and for some reason, our interactions balanced each other out or complemented each other in some way. And for me, Katherine was someone that just seemed always willing to do something, and if she wasn’t, she’d be very straight up with you. But it wasn’t because she was afraid to do it. She just didn’t want to or didn’t think it was the right thing. But she would tell me if she thought I was off or should make a different decision. She was just very open with me, and I really appreciated that. She was also the first person that’s gonna be carrying 10 bags of groceries home from the store, walking or on our bikes just cause we’re trying to be cheap and efficient or not bug people for rides, right? She was the first person to encourage us to go and do some kind of adventure, and she was also a person that would help me reach out to try Teoh, get dates or communicator, figure out how to collaborate with people that I was afraid to interact with, and yet I ultimately wanted to meet. So Catherine was someone that was by my side a lot, and I was by her side a lot in that summer. And then there was Bill. Bill is my cousin. I hadn’t seen him since I was about five years old, but we ended up living in the same campus Plaza building, and my family had moved from California. His family stayed, and so I only knew about him through my grandmother, who always spoke so highly of all of our cousins that we thought that they were all brilliant and amazing. and we wondered if we were come to find out. She said the same things about us to them. But they were brilliant and they are amazing. And so Bill was someone who liked Catherine. He is constantly seeking constantly seeking adventure. He wasn’t thwarted by fears. He wanted to just keep going and trying things. In fact, one day some of us decided we needed to have Utah driver’s licenses. And so we piled into a Peugeot. You know what a Peugeot is? It’s one of these European cars that my uncle had quite a few of them, cause he just loved them and you’d fix them up and everything. So we pile into it. We go down to the D. M V and we proceed to take the driver’s test, which many of us failed and right go. Well, whatever. And then we find out we could take it again 15 minutes later. So we took it and we all walked out with our driver’s license. But these little ad hoc moments were gather us. We go, we get something done and bills also the person that would come knocking on the door and go Rebecca. Hey, what’s up. What are we gonna do? What’s the plan? Tell me about it. I’m gonna go knock on doors. I’ll take around the flyers, whatever. Let’s get some fun going. And that was exactly what I needed, right? I’m someone who can plan the party, but I don’t necessarily want to be the party Korpi at the party. That makes sense, like I have more fun creating the framework for the fund. But then that’s where the little bit of social awkwardness comes in with some things. And again, it’s not awkwardness with everyone. It’s just in some social interactions. And so Bill would be right there, kind of making sure I took the next step, and he didn’t realize that he’s just wanting to have fun, right? And he knows that I’m someone that’s gonna help him on that journey, right? So I played my role as well, but Bill was just full of adventure, and I needed that. I really did at that point in life. Now the third person is tall Mark, and he’s called Tall Mark because there was a short mark that would eb in and out of this group of people, and Mark’s very smart, full of energy and just game for anything, not just game for anything, but he actively went out and pursued adventure at the same time. He didn’t go deeply into talking to us a lot, and so you never quite knew if you were the only group. He was having adventures with her if he was off with lots of other people, and so he’s a little bit mysterious in that way. And yet when I look at my journal, I see that we went up to the canyon with Mark. We had singing in tunnels with him. I worked with him at the Special Olympics for a few days. I had a wonderful time and that he just always seemed to be part of the group. And what’s really important to me is he was the tall person that I saw at the job board when I’d come back for my mission and then to realize that this was a person that I was now interacting with on a regular basis. Having him part of our group was important because he had this presence. I remember at the dances. There’s like this person above everyone else who spreading out his arms and kind of propelling around like an airplane, like an airplane going in, circles her something and just had his eyes closed. He’s just enjoying the music. It just seemed like someone who wanted to get the most possible out of life me truly just seem to pursue. And he was actually a big risk taker with nature to so some of us couldn’t quite go that far with the risks he was willing to take. But I realize on reflection how important he waas to that entire experience. One of the adventures that we had was somebody decided that we should go climb up to these hot pots in the middle of the night and our group. We formed this chain and we go up the mountain and you can see the stars, and you only have a couple flashlights. It’s a very vulnerable activity. And of course, I ran into a boulder on the way. So I still have this big in dent scar on my leg that I can remember the summer of 1994 from, but we get to the top. We get to these hot pots and realize there’s tons of people bathing in them, most of them that didn’t have any clothes on. And there’s a sulfur smell that’s just not pretty. And yet you look up into the sky and you just realize that your eyes, you’re in this place that feels like it’s a world away. But it wasn’t very far from where we lived, and yet it was this entirely different experience, and I remember meeting up the next day. We got home at, like, three or four in the morning, and we all smell like sulfur for the next day or two and were at a loss of sleep and all that. But I remember that experience, and I’m glad that I did it. It pushed the limits of what I was comfortable with, and I’m here talking about it over 25 years later. And that’s partly how we know how deeply some of these experiences are for us. You know, as I read my journals and realize that I’d for gotten half of the experiences that hadn’t forgotten the people I just had for gotten why certain people stood out in my mind so much. But they were important to my life. They’ve helped me become who I become. And with Katherine and Bill and Mark, I made mistakes with all of them and how I treated them and how I respected or disrespected them. Or I didn’t realize the value they offered to my personal growth. And I’m sorry for that and at the same time want to thank them for being who they were. And I know that each of them has gone through their own special challenges since that time. I’m not really in super close contact. I think is, of course now I should probably reach out right. But I am aware that they’ve gone through stuff and I’m aware that they will get through the stuff because I saw how they had the courage in the face of any fear that they had. And they were a few steps ahead of me on that journey of learning how to have courage and fear coincide in the same person, cause the fear will never go away in some things. But learning how to take a step regardless of fear is courageous. Thank you, Catherine. Bill and Tall Mark. I’m forever grateful that we had this moment in time to interact and as I go through these stories and learning, it re inspires me to have some courage in my life right now, as I fear so many things around me. Ironically, none of those fears have to do with the virus, since I already had my round of it or pneumonia, whatever it was. But I’m on a journey and so are you. And there’s gonna be a lot of things to be afraid of. I wanted to offer up a couple of things to remember as you go through pursuing your best work and your best life. And that is to be aware of when you are feeling afraid and admit it to yourself and say, I am afraid. And once you do that, be willing to be honest with someone outside of you and say, I’m really afraid of this. I want to work on this. I need someone with courage to help me move forward and how important it is to find a group of people. No, no matter how small that support you as you adventure into your fear, just like D. J right that he had a choice. He could go back and listen to what those negative or scared cars worth saying. But he decided that even though he was still afraid to be with these others, he was going to get a lot of inspiration. He’s gonna get a lot of help and support with them because they were willing to take the journey and like D. J, even when you’re afraid to still go on the journey to still show up. And even if he had just shown up and sat at the bottom of the mountain, that would have been a huge step right, because that would show, Hey, I’m willing to take the first step, not really ready for the next one, but I’m here. Another thing I would offer is to recognize when you are the person that has the courage to step out and go, Oh, I’m the person that can help someone work through this fear. I’ve been there before, or I’m willing to do it along with them and to be willing to recognize if you are the person, it’s gonna be kind of a guide on the side to help them have courage, and just to recognize the you will be leading in some areas and in some areas, you’re gonna be admitting you’re afraid and asking someone to help you to have the courage. As I shared the beginning of this podcast, I am a perfect example of one of these people. I have extreme courage in some parts of life and other areas. I have the fear that overrides any amount of courage that I have. And so we’re all combinations of thes things. I can get up and speak in front of a large audience and yell, Tremble a little bit of first, But then I get really comfortable. But yet you put me on a one on one situation with certain people talking about deeply personal things that can be difficult. The courage to adventure is something that will help each of us as we step up and offer up our best work. It’s time to work through the fear, and I’m right here to help. If you need me, have a great day. Thanks for listening to the show today. If you enjoyed it, I’d love if you’d write a review and share the show with your friends, sign up for a weekly nudge at move your desk dot com. See you next Monday

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