Fuck it. Live a little.
If you have the means to do something, just go for it. Don’t let fear of the unknown rule your life. When I was fifteen, I was at a basement punk show with my friends. As the band started another forty second hardcore song, the front of the room exploded into a mosh pit, and I looked over to my friend Noah and said “I wish I could mosh.”
He laughed, and said “Then mosh!” Immediately, I thought, no no no, i’m not the moshing type. But before I could even finish this thought, he was gone, whirling around in the pit, arms flailing, a goofy smile on his face. The song ended, he walked back to me as the band readied for the next song. “See? Nothing too it.”
But what if I fell down? What if I got elbowed in the jaw? What if- and this last thought was interrupted by the lead singer’s familiar shout of “ONE TWO THREE FOUR!” and the grinding of a fuzzed-out guitar.
I jumped in the pit, thrashing about with partial-strangers, feeling scared, nervous, and alive. It felt almost natural. And as quick as it began, the song was over. I wasn’t hurt. I wasn’t broken. I was invigorated. I grinned ear to ear at Noah, and he smiled back. I loved moshing.
One year later, I was sitting around in my house, watching the movie Premium Rush. I watched Joseph Gordon Levitt bike around Manhattan, dodging taxis and crooked cops. A familiar thought filled my head. “I wish I could do that,” followed by the as-familiar doubt. “What if I fall off? What if I skin my knee? What if I’m not good enough?” Thankfully, one last familiar thought came up again.
A week later, I was whizzing up and down the convenience store parking lot on my dad’s old bicycle, sweaty, tired, and happy. I felt like the kid in Breaking Away, Joseph Gordon Levitt, and pre-doping Lance Armstrong all in one! The world was much easier to navigate, I didn’t have to worry about getting rides, and I could go anywhere I wanted for free!
And that’s how I try to face life. If you have the means to do something, the only thing holding you back is yourself. And for the longest time, I held myself back. The “what-if’s” of life held me back more than the “definitely wills” could ever do. And that is no way to live life. I was paralyzed with fear of outcomes that would never come to pass, stopping myself from actually living, from thriving. So what if things might go differently than I thought? So what if something could happen? I’ve taught myself to try anything and everything that I want to, and it’s all thanks to a split second, two word, off the cuff, adrenaline rushing, heart pounding, fun, easy, two word decision I made five years ago in a dingy basement in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Fuck it. Live a little.