Samantha Harrington
September 7, 2015

If you think I’m not freaking out, you’re wrong.

I need to be in Ann Arbor, Michigan Friday night. That’s four days from now.

Do I know how I’m going to get there?

No.

Am I packed and ready?

I haven’t unpacked from when I moved out of Chapel Hill over a month ago.

I’m telling you this in pursuit of honesty (and perhaps at the expense of professionalism). People think I’m brave. People think I know what I’m doing.

But I don’t. And that’s okay. I don’t know how I’m getting to Ann Arbor, but I know that I’ll get there (admittedly I do have a couple ideas).

I’ve gotten lost in the alleys of Marrakech. Been stranded by a taxi driver at the Dead Sea. Made the very poor decision to traipse home alone across icy Chapel Hill streets in the middle of the night. And I’m here.

We’re in the age of invincibility. Nothing can go wrong when you’re 22, right?

Just kidding.

That’s the thing about all of this. It’s about finding balance between 100% safety and refusing to be trapped by fear. All of the risks that you take, you can mitigate. You can ask people to point you in the correct direction when lost. You can stick your keys between your index and middle fingers while walking home late at night.

You can do everything you can to stack the odds in your favor. But you can’t ever be sure that things will work out the way you intend.

And maybe that’s the point. The world conspires to teach you lessons, even when you think you’ve learned it all. You make the perfect plan, but it falls to pieces. And in the process you learn something important about yourself.

You learn how you act when you’re lost. Or when you’re scared. You learn to let other people help.

So yeah. I’m freaking out.

But I’m freaking out in that standing atop a cliff right before you dive into the lake below way. Heart pounding, throat dry, so unbelievably ready for the thrill of flying.

Man am I ready to fly.