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Do the Thing You are Scared Of

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Posted on : 8:39 AM | By : Nic | In : , ,

I wrote my first bucket list when I was about 14. I still have that list in a box somewhere, but now I just have it in my head and it has turned into a general philosophy. That philosophy is: "Do the thing you are scared of." *
*Unless it statistically has an over 50% chance of killing you.

This means that I have collected a list of experiences that aren't generally part of most people's experience, even though I'm only 28 (28?! Am I really that close to leaving my 20's behind?) Here's a few:

1. I met my husband on the internet when I was 20, and moved to another country without ever having seen him in person. Crazy, right? If you read Free Range Kids though, you will know that it's actually pretty difficult to get killed by weirdos. We talked for about 8 hours per day for a few months and then I got on a plane and moved to Canada, and I never really left. I didn't do this blindly however, I know all kinds of tricks for how to safely talk to people online. I should make a post about that.

2. I became a Canadian. I love Canada! It's better in almost every way. I happen to live in a very amazing place too, which helps, lol. Even though I married a Canadian, the immigration process was long, stressful and difficult.

3. I've lived in lots of places. This wasn't really my choice but it is part of my experience when I was a kid. I have lived in Arizona, Washington, Oregon, Montana and Nevada. I consider Montana my home state, even though I was born in Arizona. Traveling and knowing about all these different places gave me a unique perspective on the definition of home. Now I live in BC.

4. I was homeschooled for eight years, and graduated right before I turned 16. Being homeschooled was amazing. I am not sure I would choose to graduate early the second time around. I went to college right away and found that I simply couldn't fit in, even though I made friends. I also didn't know what I wanted to do with my life. I had a 4.0 GPA and nowhere to go, lol.

5. I made a goal to never, ever work in a fast food place. This means I have held some unusual jobs. My first job was piano accompanist for the local high school's choirs. Then I worked in technical support at a call center (I was the youngest person there and had a very low call back rate, a fact I am still proud of although I don't know why). I have been a portrait artist, a greeting card designer for Recycled Paper Greetings, an author, web administrator, graphic designer, dryer refurbisher, child care person, and library volunteer, among other things.

6. I try things that are a bit scary, for me anyway. I have done cliff jumping (20 feet was the highest I could do, lol), the moonlight ride on The Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park, zip lines at Camp Qwanoes, sea biscuiting in the harbor here on the Island and on the Columbia River in Washington State, and I've swum in some really cold and deep lakes: Flathead Lake, Lake McDonald, Whitefish Lake and Tally Lake in Montana... plus the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Oregon and BC. Strangely enough I ended up being the most scared of sea biscuiting because I'm actually not a big fan of water.

I feel like these things are only the beginning. I don't understand when people say they are bored. I've got so many hobbies I can't even count them anymore. For example, I collect museums and science centers. I've been to the Arizona Science Center, the Children's Museum of Phoenix (to see Wallace and Grommet, no less!), Lied Discovery Children's Museum in Las Vegas, the Denver Museum of Science and Nature, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry in Portland, the Pacific Science Center in Seattle, the Royal BC Museum, the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the Vancouver Aquarium. I should write a post about THAT!

There is so much to do and see in the world, and it doesn't cost that much money. There is no excuse for boredom! Do I have to have a rule that if I am scared of something I have to do it? No, but it sure forces me to grow in ways I never expected.

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