T-minus 10 seconds and counting. Your heart pounds heavier in your chest like it’s desperate to escape, ready to be set free, eager to see the world. With only a few moments remaining, time slows and you’re left wondering what got you to this point.
You’re 18 again, unsure of yourself, who you are as a person, what you’ll give back to this world. Struggling with your identity you’re left in the clutches of anxiety, immobilized with fear because of your inability to confront those that hurt you and the events that made you afraid. Unable to grab hold of anything concrete, you resolve to be fearless, to be ambitious, to beat the universe at its own game. You stumble again, unfortunately, and find yourself closed off once more.
Seeking approval, you reach out to something new and appealing, yet unnerving, but comforting nonetheless. You don’t find what you’re looking for, and once again, you cut yourself off. The next time, you make strides and can feel yourself blossoming, though less poetic than a flower reaching for the sun. What am I meant to be? Deciding on a path is hard when your innermost desire is ambition, the need to succeed and be the best, to prove them all wrong, to prove yourself right, and to find answers you’ve assumed always needed to be found.
Twenty-two and at a crossroads, you play it safe. You stay close to your roots and take a few deep breaths. “I’m meant to be here,” you think to yourself. Is your resolve to nestle yourself with those familiar and the places unchanging a result of each decision you’ve made up until that point? Maybe. Maybe this is where you’re meant to be. Perhaps you’ve spent the last 2 decades falsely believing there was more to your destiny like you were meant for something extraordinary.
You flounder and flop like a fish out of water, afraid to breathe, but fearful of suffocating. It’s the irony many have faced before you and you recognize that. You’ve always been very perceptive of your actions and those of others. Nothing gets past you. Nothing ever will. Sometimes, it feels like a curse – to be so mindful of the actions of yourself and others. You wonder if such a plague is the result of your own doing or if you’re the result of its twisted benevolence.
It’s now been four years since you’d held your breath. One large gulp and the resolve to stay in one spot was all you’d know. But, what if it wasn’t? What if… what if this was the time? You don’t believe in signs, unless they’re obviously, and very clearly, shouting at you. Is the universe trying to tell you something? If it doesn’t move, it dies. If it doesn’t grow, there’s something wrong. Would you spend your entire life always trying, always yearning, but never knowing, never achieving? Maybe it was time to jump.
“Be extraordinary.” You repeat it to yourself over and over. You’d heard it once before and it was like poking a hole through a black curtain. Slowly, each recitation was like a sharp pin to a dark cloud. You can’t explain the effect it had, or why it had it because now that you’re thinking about it, it seems so obvious. Extraordinary.
And then it clicks and before you know it, you’re like a rebuilt house. Loose and cracked, but whole nonetheless, because you built it. You built you.
Be extraordinary. Find the courage to be extraordinary. Find the courage to win, to fight, to guard, to speak, to hear, to achieve, to breathe, to let go, to accept, to rebel, to whisper, to shout, to set your soul on fire, to do something worthwhile. Be extraordinary. Do something extraordinary. Find the courage to do something extraordinary.