Journey, Aerosmith’s ‘Dream On’: in my forming years of the 70s I latched on to these themes. I watched myself in the mirror, mouthed the words, and dreamed who I could be, with no limits.
My kids are at that age now. They may be shy about the first day of school or the first soccer practice, but then they get right in there and everybody’s fine. There’s no fear, no hang-ups like we develop later in life as our brains fill out and we close up.
I climbed Mount Rainier without any climbing experience when I was 28. I did it because I was cocky and stubborn, and couldn’t envision failure. Years later, after kids and less time in the mountains, I started to think more, slip more, and enjoy myself less. And so I stopped doing it and now, I back-pack. (Probably a good idea.)
Limits are good, and some people need them more than others. The catch comes in being able to distinguish between limits that are good for you and limits that prevent you from being who you really could be.
I wrote a while ago about the Comfort Zone, and the difference between a place of complacency and ease, and a place where you’re being challenged to grow.
If you can find a way to push on the limits of yourself, you’ll be a bigger person. If your world is small and safe it will stay that way, and a little smaller still when they put you in a box and lower you down.
It’s lovely to think we could be whoever we want to be, with no limits. And there really aren’t that many good arguments why not. It’s lovely to think that, but terribly frightening and hard to do it.
And that’s why it matters so much: like drafting this post now when I have a half an hour at the end of my day, and one of my kids left this Journey song open on my laptop.
Don’t stop. (And don’t fear the reaper.)