Embracing Uncertainty and Fearlessness
When you read this, we’re probably going to be on a plane heading east out of Seattle. That’s a particularly interesting fact because – as some of you know – we were supposed to be on an entirely different grand adventure heading west to China.
To make a convoluted story short… When a visa didn’t come through, that plan fell apart. At the very last minute. Drama.
We dealt with it. With a surprising level of calm, I might add (except when interacting with Delta).
We have a good life. I mean, come on… we can’t get too worked up when one travel plan has to be replaced with another travel plan. In a world full of problems, these are good “struggles” to have.
For us, this long overdue and refreshing outlook is another benefit of pursuing fulfilled lives. Even when things are uncertain, go wrong and get turned upside-down, it’s all under the umbrella of living intentionally. Somehow – when you’re doing exactly what you want to be doing in life – “bad” doesn’t go away, but it feels much less severe.
Over the last 5 years of pursuing decent days every day and not deferring fulfillment, we’ve both learned about the gift of uncertainty. Something that we skillfully avoided in our previous lives. Now we know that the more we lean into – and even embrace – uncertainty, the more aligned we feel with life.
We’ve learned the same thing about fearlessness. One of our big goals as we celebrate 5 years of NVR livin’ is to even more boldly assert our voices and pursue the things we believe in. As was the case with uncertainty, neither one of us had a particularly great relationship with fearlessness in our previous lives. We were bold and somewhat fearless but pretty much only when it was convenient. After all, we were busy being upwardly mobile at work. Give us a break.
A couple weeks ago, when we were in Washington DC, we stopped by the Supreme Court building to check out all of the hoopla surrounding the new universal healthcare law. As it turned out, we stumbled upon a huge group of Tea Party Patriots holding a rally (opposing universal healthcare). The hateful things they were spewing really bothered us, especially since the media and large groups of school-kids were in the crowd and interviewing them.
Years ago, we would have been frustrated but we would have returned to our originally planned schedule. This time, though, we cleared a couple items off of our schedule and jumped in head first. We grabbed signs off the ground (from an earlier rally) and started to present a counterpoint to what the TPPs were serving up.
It felt great. The thought of speaking your truth (loudly!) can seem very scary, especially in the face of so much opposition. Once we started, it felt completely liberating and empowering. We eventually spotted others with our viewpoint and joined forces. In the end, we had about 15 people in our ranks. We were even able to give those school kids an alternate perspective.
At one point, a guy came by and tearfully thanked us all for lending our voices. He explained that he has two severely ill loved ones that have fallen through the cracks of our current healthcare system. As he started to walk off I said, “Join us! We’re just tourists lending our voices, we’re not part of any special group.” “No, I can’t,” he said. “I’ve gotta get back to work or my boss will kill me.”
We live a good life. We can somehow make the time to be a voice – to try to be fearless – for us and for those who have less flexible lives. Thanks to our lifestyle, we can also navigate a hefty degree of change and uncertainty without it being devastating.
Uncertainty isn’t a comfortable place for many people and fearlessness is inconvenient for most. We’re finding our groove with both things. We’re still experimenting, but it gets easier every day.
So, yeah, we’re forging ahead with new, unexpected travel plans and kind of blindly piecing a new itinerary together – heading east and not west. We’ll live.