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Be Afraid But Do It Anyway

Updated: Oct 5

What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done?

How did it work out for you? Did you survive it? Did you have regrets?

I’m asking myself these questions because I’ve gone and done it. Something that truly defies logic and reason. I knew it before, while, and after I was doing it that it was going to be a lot. I dropped a big ole bomb right smack dab in the center of my life.

I don’t mean to keep you in the dark. I truly can’t talk about it. With anyone. That’s the worst part. Doing something and having to forge it solo for a little while. I’m at peace with my decision. But… it may actually blow up in my face. Let me rephrase that: I’m EXPECTING it to blow up in my face.

The last time I did something this terrifying was when I quit my job at Disneyland and moved across the country knowing only a couple of people in New York City.  I didn’t have a show lined up (however I did have a restaurant job waiting for me). I was terrified to uproot my life and not know how it would all end up. But I had peace with the situation because down in my bones, in my deepest gut, it’s what I wanted to do so badly; that even if I failed, I was going to be grateful that I at least gave myself the CHANCE to fly. And by the grace of God, fly I did.

I’m at a similar crossroads now in terms of the stakes. And also, a huge difference being: When I moved to New York City, I had big dreams and prayed and hoped it would happen for me. With this crossroads this week, I am actually anticipating failure. I really don’t see it working out in my favor. But I did it anyway. You know why?

Because something inside of me was SCREAMING at me telling me I had to do it. I fought it knowing I would end up looking DUMB AF. But the urge inside of me grew so great that it began to manifest physically. I’m like, Dear GOD. FINE I’ll do it! Just so my body could relax again, and sure enough, after metaphorically jumping off the cliff, my body is back at homeostasis. Jury’s still out on if it was worth it. I am fully prepared to get banged up on the way down, but I hope that doesn’t happen.

This pandemic is teaching me a lot of things, but one of the main lessons I’m learning is to take things Day by Day. And sometimes, I need to break it down into even smaller chunks and go moment by moment. I cannot solve everything by myself and all at once. I have to be strategic, have a plan, take action, and have patience. In fact, sometimes the things on my “Do Not Do” list is harder than the “To Do” list.

Do not straighten or cut my hair out of curiosity or boredom when I know good and well that I’m trying to grow it out and keep it healthy.

Do not text that man who NEVER texts or calls you. He clearly wants nothing to do with you so just let him be!

Do not eat everything in the pantry just because it’s there.

Do not go buy any gowns Salisha. You literally have no whereto go except your couch and the drive thru Starbucks.

You get my drift?

My to-do list on the other hand is ALWAYS endless and sometimes mindless:

Workout for an hour

Read Bible for an hour

Make a green juice for you and dad

Walk for an hour

Meditate

Finish your book proposal

Redo your Query letter for class

Draft a blog

Research Literary Agents

Moisturize your hair

Date night

Spend time with parents

Finish book for bookclub

Make singing video for XYZ

Commercial Audition prep—recruit Vanessa

Grocery run or put in for grocery delivery

Swish coconut oil in mouth during shower

The list can truly go on for years.

But this week, with the weight of the world on my shoulders, I found myself driving to my parents’ house and not doing anything else but just CHILLING OUT. After finishing a full page of an intense coloring book and three games of scrabble later, I’m ready for a movie and/or a nap.

Skipped my workouts. Not a veggie in sight. And yes, I definitely will take that extra piece of chicken if you don’t mind.

But also, I feel proud of myself for being brave. Being afraid but doing what I feel I need to do anyway makes me feel courageous. I did see a positive sign though, before I went and burned down my world. Usually on my long walk, I see vultures circling around the same one or two houses. And instead of seeing vultures, I saw a white dove fly across my path.

I was like, Hmmm… that never happens. Random… Odd… I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s not a coincidence and go forth. And off I went. I will check in soon and let you know I’m alright. If I disappear off social media….CALL FOR HELP. SEND PRAYERS. Lol

Joking but like also serious. 😅

Whatever you may have been thinking of doing, if it’s on your heart and mind, if you keep mulling it over, if you’re terrified but you feel in your gut it’s the right thing to do, DO IT. If you end up being wrong and it’s turns out horribly, here’s the Good News takeaway: You’re fine tuning your ear. I literally practice listening to my gut. And I realize that for me it has taken TIME to decipher when it’s just my head in a tailspin or when it’s the Holy Spirit giving me direction. Sometimes I’m like, THIS IS FOR SURE GOD…just to find out that NOPE. Girl that wasn’t it. Oh but when things do work out gloriously after I’ve just taken a risk, I take a big ole mental note of what it felt like before I took the leap. And so that the next time I feel that same feeling, it’s familiar, and I know what to do. (And waste less time getting at it!)

If you were wondering (and even if you weren’t), that’s actually my whole secret for life. For me, that skill is still being fine-tuned. But it’s an active journey of awareness. When people comment on my journey seeming like things just always seem to ‘work out,’ I assure you it’s not because I’m the bomb. It’s because I’m taking direction from a higher power and following those nudges that don’t seem logical to anyone else.

But alas, I still get things wrong. A lot. Stay tuned for this latest venture. And Godspeed for your next big adventure. Follow the nudge. Have courage. Go forth.

Salisha Thomas (RM HUNT PHOTOGRAPHY)

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