I was watching Supergirl when Cat Grant (arguably my favorite character), played by Calista Flockhart, gave our heroine some words of wisdom. Ms. Grant is a strong-minded character who always doles out good advice, but this time her words stuck with me.
Dive. You are standing on the shore, afraid to dive into new waters. And you’re afraid because you don’t want to say goodbye . . . Now you are standing there, looking out at your options. The icy blue water, the fast flowing river, or the choppy blue sea. And they all look very appealing to you because you’re dying to go for a swim. But you know the water is going to be cold and the journey is going to be hard. And when you reach the other side you will have become a new person, and you are scared to meet that new version of yourself. Now, we all get used to our own personas and used to our own comfort zones. But trust me, in order to live we must keep daring. Keep diving.
I think the sensory language is what got to me—I could see myself standing on a shore contemplating my choices; feel the fear in my throat as I edged closer to the water, inching ever nearer to a new life and a new me; feel icy daggers in my skin after I finally took the plunge into the cold, deep waters of the unknown. It was a situation I’d been in before, though at the time I never thought much of it.
As she spoke, I realized that I have been many different people in my short lifetime; I’m not even the same person today as I was yesterday. I know that the reason for this is the experiences I’ve had and the choices I’ve made. I’ve been at the edge of the water so many times: sometimes I was at the edge of a puddle that I’d happily stomp and splash in, and other times I’d stand before a vast ocean, terrified of who I’d be when I reached the shore on the other side.
What I learned as I listened was that I can’t let the fear of who I may become consume me. I can’t stand still at a crossroads and I can’t sit by the edge of the ocean—I have to make a choice. The path I chose or the plunge I take may frighten me—life-altering decisions often do—but nothing, not fear nor any other force, can alter the fact that the decisions must be made in order to live life.