Have you ever felt scared to try a new thing?
I’m going to guess, yes! Probably a few times a week, maybe once a day… I feel this weird feeling all the time. Fear. But still a feeling of excitement, perseverance, possibility, drive and often that makes me so excited... until it becomes anxiety. I think its a common thing to many of us, and I certainly am still trying to figure that out. Why does fear hold the hand of excitement? And why does wisdom bring the two together more and more?
Let me share a little back story..... my best friend and I used to have a jewelry store when we were 18. It was called SKmtl. We started it because I went to NYC a few times (prior to moving there for school) and realized we have no fun costume jewelry available in Montreal like they had in NY. I would bring back tons of options for both her and I (because like any good best friend I don’t share my clothes with anyone except her). It was the era of big chunky necklaces and trendy bangles.
One Saturday morning I woke up sitting in my bed with an internal itch. I had an idea and I wanted to jump on it. The more I thought of it the more I couldn’t find a reason to not bring in jewelry from distributors and sell in Montreal. And when I say the more I thought…. I mean very little pros and cons charts went into this decision.... since I was 18 and risking my savings from working part time in a department store (very few!), living at my parents whom I was blessed to have had paying for my schooling at the time, and my none to none expenses besides weekends spent buying forever21.... and it all allowed me to have no risk. So why not take a chance right?
Let me elaborate more on this so called itch factor. I secretly love it. I love that it brings about uncertainty, and when used properly that can be a huge advantage and motivator. Look, I've never been someone to sit still, and that may not be surprising to if you’ve tracked some of my travel and daily life in the past year via TFF. I am constantly having people ask me, do you ever stop? Do you ever stay in one place for more than a week? Do you ever not work out? Well I can’t… my body doesn’t work that way. The way I regulate my nervous system is by sweating constantly, expensing my energy and moving around all the time. If I don’t, or if it's time for a change, I will get said itch I speak of above. I will actually feel it physically that my skin will start to itch and my insides will toss and turn. Its called mind-body connection. Sounds kind of crazy right? Well I think I'm in the middle of a big itch. That same itch I felt when I was 18 and needed to create something, that same itch I felt when I started the blog, or when I quit corporate. It's the unavoidable change I quite literally crave. And its back with a vengeance.
Returning to the jewelry company story. When I woke up that Saturday morning I called my best friend. I am and have always been an early riser. So probably around 9am (that was considered me waiting until later to phone her so she could sleep in) I rang her. She answered clearly still being asleep and pretty much before she could speak and I said “ Do you want to start a jewelry store? There are none in Montreal like we see in NY and I can't stop thinking about it and….” She interrupted me and said “yup, I’m in… but can I call you when I wake up”. So we hung up. And that was how it all began. The itch, the no risk, jump, free fall that left us with nothing but excitement rather than fear of failure. And left us with the pleasure of making money from our own hustle from 18-20 some odd years old.
Now looking back on that girl I was, I am jealous of her. Even if I know so much more now than I did at the time. With almost 10 years of experience on her, after having loved, lost, lived in another country, moved from home, been both financially stable and lost, I know much more. But sadly I also know risk and failure and starting over. I know that not everything works out. And that more times than not it doesn’t but it will always help to get you some where. I also know now that excitement holds the hand of fear and vice versa. Which can trick you into being fearful when your really just excited....
As I sit with my itch once more, one thats been pretty prevalent this past summer... I realize that it's a lot scarier for me to build something new that may not work. To spend a lot of money on a concept that might fail. And at moments I look myself in the mirror and go, YOU WILL NOT FAIL. You know this world. You know what you are doing. Take the next step. Build your next project. DO NOT STAND STILL….. and then on other days I think… WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING? You’re doing well, why are you trying to risk that? You need to focus your energy where you are and stop trying to push into what you don’t know. And those moments are scary. It's hard to trust yourself. It's really hard to believe that you have all the right answers or your story… that the excitement you feel is impulsive just enough to make it happen and calculated just enough to stop you from absolute utter embarrassment, and perhaps down a chunk of change...
I don't know much about success. I have had successes and large failures. But I know that feeling. The itch won't go away until I make a change and commit to building the next chapter of my career.... Today I am 26 and I know that I want to know what my next success feels like ... I know that the idea that I will NEVER get there if i don't start walking is very real. So for now... I will let excitement and fear both hold my hand and well just start walking.