Leaping in the Dark

I recently signed up for a 10-day landscape photography workshop in Iceland. This is something I should not have done — or so my brain warned me. But my heart disagreed.

“You’re too busy”, said my brain. “Have you forgotten that you’re going back to school? The timing could not be worse. I hate to say it, but you’re insane.”

“I don’t care”, said my heart. “I really want to go to Iceland.”

“You shouldn’t even consider this”, shouted my brain, which had several other excellent arguments as to why I should pass up this opportunity. But my heart kept saying the same thing: “This is my dream and it will make me happy to go. And who knows if I’ll ever have this chance again?”

So I signed up. I often have these brain versus heart dilemmas. And I almost always follow my heart. So far, my heart has led me to some pretty wonderful places, but of course it’s impossible to know how things might have gone had I allowed my brain to lead the way.

One thing I’m sure of is that fear is not the best guide for making decisions. When you think about it, there’s always something terrible that could go wrong when we try something new: we might be killed, we could lose all of our money, people might laugh at us, we could catch some dreaded disease — the list is endless. Yes, the world is a scary place. But it’s also exciting.

I recently read a quote by Henry David Thoreau that I found rather alarming: “We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success.”

Leap in the dark? I don’t care too much for that idea. But I see his point. There’s always an element of risk when we leave our comfort zone. And unless we leave our comfort zone, we’re not going to get to the top of whatever mountain we’re trying to climb. Unless you quit the job you hate, how can you start the one you’ll love? There must be a leap of faith, as frightening as it may be.

So yes, I AM going to Iceland. I will leap in the dark and see where I land. And I’ll let you know how it goes…


9 Comments on “Leaping in the Dark

  1. India, that’s so exciting you’re going to Iceland! I can’t imagine a better place for landscape photography. We were there 10+ years ago and I would definitely go back and explore further. Just a magical place. Funny, I’ve been thinking lately about comfort zone too and feeling like it’s way over-rated! Good for you following your heart and signing up.

    • Thank you, Kathleen! I’m very excited about this trip and am happy to hear that you enjoyed your trip there. Comfort zone is a funny thing — get too far out of it and you may not be able to enjoy yourself. If you don’t get out of it often enough life gets awfully dull…

  2. India, just getting out of bed in the morning is a leap into the dark … a leap of faith that we will be alive to go to bed that night, that we will have a bed to go to, that the world will be kind enough to us that we want to get up again the next morning. Leap away! It works for you.

    • Good point, Phyllis!! You have a great way of boiling things down to their essence. I will leap away… Thank you!

    • Haha, I’ll definitely not leap that far!! Yes, it’s exciting — I was reading a little about Iceland this morning and apparently it’s quite a mystical place. Some people believe that “elves” can become visible to humans on the summer solstice. I’ll let you know if I see one…

  3. Wow!! That is really exciting! I too have these heart and head clashes! I think it is great to carpe that diem, as I you just never know if that chance is going to come up again. I am very envious of both Iceland and the photography workshop:)

    • Thank you, Philippa!! Sorry about the late response — my blog has gotten away from me recently, I’m afraid. Life continues to teach me that it’s best to follow the heart — which is why I’ll be in Myanmar next year. Still hoping that we can work out a lunch or something. Will keep in touch…

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