Five years ago today, on the 17th of June 2007, I took the first step.
It was the step I’d been waiting to take all my life.
It was the step I could so easily have postponed, waiting for a better moment when all the conditions were exactly right and everything was just ready. It was the step I could have avoided taking at all, citing any number of sensible reasons for why doing so would be a mistake, an unnecessary risk, and a foolish move with no guarantee of success.
It was raining. I had the mother of all hangovers. I felt entirely unprepared. I left half a to-do list unfinished, and had no idea how to do any of the simple things that I needed to be able to do.
But I took it.
That was the day I took my life into my own hands. I took action on the fact that I could no longer blame the outside world for keeping me in a place I didn’t want to be. Not through thoughts or words, but through real and consequence-creating actions, I steered myself down an entirely different road — the road I had consciously and wholeheartedly chosen to be the one I truthfully wanted to travel down, come what may.
At the same time, I made peace with uncertainty. This was critical. There would be no safety net any more. I accepted that my plans were, at best, mere guesses; that anything might happen. I committed to a life of experimentation, of dealing with unfamiliarity as a matter of course, of successes and failures, of regular reflection. I resolved to keep one eye on the goal and the other on the fact that the goalposts were likely to move.
Huge upheavals would happen. Insurmountable challenges. Unresolvable conflicts. The deepest of pains. And unimaginable joys that would bring tears to my eyes. It might not be to everyone’s tastes, but the life I would lead would be honestly and authentically my own.
Today — as I continue down that road, still with the same excitement and apprehension — I can steal a glance back on all that has happened. And I am so overwhelmingly glad, beyond the capability of words to describe, that I took that first step.
Thank you for your support! Here’s to the next five years!
9 replies on “Taking The First Step — A Half-Decade Of Adventure In Review”
[…] as much as possible. It feels like nothing is ready but it’s a relief to read that even Tom writes “I felt entirely unprepared. I left half a to-do list unfinished, and had no idea how […]
Feels like there should have been a ‘Donate Now’ button after the ‘Thank you for your support’ bit…
You can buy me a pint if you want… 😉
I love how these thoughts could parallel anything we do in life. Whether a bike trip, a hiking adventure, or any limitation (real or imagined) that we set in our minds. Looking forward to reading about your next adventure and all the insights that you have. Cheers!
Hey Alan — that was just the intention, so I’m glad it came across!
I’m very pleased reading your blog. Thanks a lot! Keep biking!
Thanks for posting. Keep it up!
Love it — nice article
Tom, thank you for making this step! For yourself and also for us, readers. I’ve only recently discovered your blog and as I’m planning my first bike trip, I’m very thankful for all the insights and tips you post here. And a very enjoyable reading as well 🙂