Living Fearlessly, One Week at a Time

By Amber Karlins

Everyone is afraid of something. For my mom, it’s tight spaces. For my friend, Eric, it’s sharks. Studies have shown that the fear of public speaking is ranked higher by most Americans than their fear of death. Rational or not, we’re all afraid of something. Me? Well, I was afraid of almost everything: bees, spiders, rollercoasters…

It hadn’t always been that way. As a child, I was downright fearless. By the time I was ten years old, I had been draped in vipers at a snake temple in Penang, taken a midnight hike through the Daintree rainforest, and ridden an elephant in Thailand. I was so determined to use the backs of our living room sofas as makeshift balance beams that my mom ultimately had to make a mattress moat around our couches. Somewhere along the way though, I lost my sense of adventure. It didn’t happen over night; in fact, it was so subtle that I didn’t even realize it had happened until my mom pointed it out. After watching my world get progressively smaller, she sat me down, looked me square in the eye, and said, “I think you’re living a small life, and I want more than that for you.”

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