The Great Escape

{Wearing: Bikini: Indah from Blush. Kimono: c/o TJ Maxx.}

 Back when I lived in New York, I would toss on my Discman (that’s iTunes version 1.0 for those who aren’t old-ish) and put my latest obsession on repeat. For a long duration the album on constant rotation was James’ Seven. One particular lyric from “Sound” has stuck with me to this day, some decade and a half later: “Do everything you fear, in this there’s power, fear is not to be afraid of.”

I hate when fear holds me back from doing something. I hate that it has any kind of grip over me. I so envy people who have no inhibitions when it comes to just letting go. But, alas, I come from a long line of non-thrill seekers and peril isn’t our adrenaline rush. In fact, we won’t even ride the roller coasters at Disney. We’ll just sit back on a bench and tell those who have married into our non-adventurous clan that we’ll be right here waiting when you are done.

When the chance to escape Miami and jaunt away to the Bahamas, however, crossed my path recently, I took it. Because the trip itself was a risk, a step out of my comfort zone, I decided to do something about that lyric that’s been stuck in one of my brain’s wrinkles for oh so long. I made the decision to do something that scared me every day. Why? Why would I, the human safety zone, throw myself into what I perceive as peril? Because I got tired of fear holding me back from living. Life is one big adventure and if you’re too afraid to live it, well, then, what’s the point? So each day, I pushed myself into a state of fear and faced head-on the things I would normally run from. And in it, I did find power. And while this post may come off as Woody Allen neurotic, well, I’m actually proud of it and the yolo-ing (God, Maria, there’s that word again), I did.

Day 1: Ginger vs. the Private Plane

{This is a look of sheer terror, btw. Wearing: Dress: Touch. Necklace: Vintage from Fly Boutique.}

My fear of flying is no government secret. In fact, I’m sure it’s mentioned in this blog at least a dozen times, if not more. I hate planes. Loathe them. But a year and change ago, I decided I had to bite the bullet and get over that hurdle if I wanted to see any part of the wold other than Florida. So I started flying, letting what was at the end of the flight and all its possibilities lure me onto planes. Slowly (and I mean an arthritic turtle’s pace) the fear eased itself, began to subside—thanks to repetition and help from Dionysus. But this time I had to really suck it up. In order to get to the Bahamas, I had to TAKE A PRIVATE PLANE. A coffin with wings and six seats and a pilot that didn’t have on the regular I-fly-a-plane garb. Holy shit. What was I thinking? All I could think was please, God, don’t let me go down like Aaliyah. Or Patsy Cline. Or Otis Redding. Wait, I’m not famous. Maybe that increases the odds of metal staying up in the air. Somehow, thanks to straight tequila (don’t judge) and a Vulcan death grip, I made it. I apologize, sincerely, for any broken metacarpals I may have caused along the way.

Ginger +1, Fear +1 (I’m not going to lie, this scared the bejesus out of me.)

Day 2: Ginger vs. the Paddleboard 

{Wearing: Bikini: Mi Ola.}

The last time I went paddleboarding, I conceded defeat (due to windy conditions and too many waves) and paddled my way back to the dock, all the while lamenting the chance to do cool yoga poses on the board. But this time, with the lake-flat waters of the Bahamas beneath me, I did exactly what I didn’t have the guts to do last time. Any time you try to balance on a non-moving surface, well, crash. And knowing there were fish and possibly, shark-infested waters beneath me upped the anxiety factor. I’ve never been a fan of the water. And it has everything to do with a lake and a fish in my tween years, as well as Florida vacation and a Jaws marathon. But I managed to get upside down and right side up again without so much as a toe touching the crystal blue waters beneath me.

Ginger +2, Fear +1

Day 3: Ginger vs. the Water

Like I said, the water isn’t my cup of tea. In fact, for all my fancy Fridays, I rarely go past ankle-deep. And the few times I do, I get the creeps and run out the minute a rogue piece of seaweed brushes my leg. But I let the warm waters rush over me and I let the tide pull me this way and that. And then, I even climbed atop a slippery, algae-covered rock and tackled a few yoga poses, despite my inner megaphone telling me that I could slip and crack my noggin open. I was far more interested in Instagram-able pics. Oh, the power of social media. Like so many other things I learned this trip, it’s the outcome that makes the risk worth it. In this there’s power. Fear is not to be afraid of. Some 15 years later, I finally get it.

Ginger +3, Fear +1

Here’s a bit more of my adventure: Swimming out to a giant trampoline just before an epic storm washed ashore, snapping pics of free-diving loot and my great, great escape.