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Say Yes To The Unknown


When I was living in Arkansas I remember waking up one morning feeling like I had been hit by an old tarnished semi-truck. The curse of hangovers. Laying there next to me (more like on top of me, but her lack of knowledge for personal boundaries is for another time) was my dog Esme, rolling over and drooling in excitement that I was finally awake to scratch her belly.

I did and still do love snuggling in bed just as much as the next person and I could’ve wasted that day away, but Sundays, especially beautiful-December-Sundays, are always best spent adventuring. I remember driving to Starbucks, and then just driving around for comfort and getting lost. Which then led to me remembering my way to Emerald Park. I had been to that magical place once before, but exploring new ground solo still left me nervous to wander the unknown, especially the cliffs, because at the time the thought of heights alone left me reaching for a garbage can.

Now, although I always knock Arkansas, I can’t discredit the fact that it is exquisitely beautiful. That day I admired the trees that surrounded me, I stayed the course, ignoring the pictures I’ve seen of the cliffs that were floating around in the back of my mind. I wasn’t sure how far the hike would be to reach the cliffs and I wasn’t sure how to get there. At first I caved into the fear of getting lost and stayed on the path that was perfectly paved for me. Easy. Simple. Relaxing….

But then I stopped dead in my tracks. I decided, hangover or not, here I come. I wanted to see the cliffs that frightened me. So I went off the beaten path. Where the pavement ended, my converse and free spirit kept pushing on. The further into the trees I went, the more my fear faded and the more my excitement led the way.

I’m terrible at estimating distances, but much to my surprise, the cliffs weren’t far off the path at all. You couldn’t see the cliffs from where the pavement ended, but a short walk into the woods and there was a breathtaking view waiting to be admired.

Life’s kind of like that. Whether you’re getting ready to move to a new city where you don’t know a single soul, or if it’s simply gaining the courage to say yes to a new job or give love another try – you’re saying hello to the unknown and embracing it with welcoming arms, because that’s the only way to get from point A to point B.

Sometimes it really is as simple as saying yes. “Hey, this is scary as hell, but I’m awesome and life is awesome, so I’m going to be even more awesome and do it anyway…even though I might pee my pants.” You’ve got to skip off the comfortable pavement (I prefer skipping over running, to each his own) and take that step. The magic is in the unknown; that’s where the really good stuff happens. The higher the risk, the higher the reward, and sometimes that reward is literally 5 steps off the familiar path. But take those steps.. whether it’s baby steps in small increments or a giant leap, be brave…or in my case, hungover and brave.

The view is worth it.

Written By Jamie Fleetwood


Jamie is a Midwest transplant currently living in Phoenix, Arizona. She is a writer, creator, and wanderer who enjoys road trips, photography, and getting lost. She encourages others to live life their own way by sharing the nomadic pitstops of her life through photos and words from the heart.

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