My friend Ileana came to visit me for the long weekend and helped me celebrate my birthday. She's been to visit me two times in the past year; both times I was at a critical point in decision-making about something.
When you've been friends with someone for 20 years you develop a short hand. Because we've had similar challenges in the past, it is easy for us to talk through the pros, cons and pitfalls of a situation. Last summer she helped me develop a plan of action for my becoming an athlete campaign. This week we talked about hiking.
The mountains around here are no joke. They're steep, isolated and beautiful. These conditions make me very interested in exploring them.
But my friends in Johnson City aren't as interested in hiking as I am and I've been reluctant to go hiking on my own. I've gone to a couple of Meetups to hike with strangers and I've really enjoyed that (and yes, I understand the inherent risks of hiking in the woods with strangers).
Ileana and I hiked a mountain on Sunday, all the while discussing whether it was safe for me to hike on my own. We ran into a lone woman hiking and discussed her thoughts. As we talked she mentioned the movie Wild, going to the movies by yourself and driving to an unknown destination to explore.
As she talked, I realized I regularly do those things. In fact, I've never been afraid to do things on my own. I'm independent and frequently travel solo around the US and in other countries.
Having a short conversation with this lone explorer made me realize how brave I am. Of course I feel comfortable hiking on my own -- I just have to remember to be brave, trust myself and take reasonable precautions to feel safe.