#362 Guest Post – Bonnie

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With the blog coming to an end, I’ve been thinking about how SYED started as this very personal thing and has since turned into more of a community exprience. I already had my friend Nate make a guest post about changing his look (which quickly reverted back I might add). But I wanted to hear from a reader, someone I didn’t know personally. I immediately thought of Bonnie.

Bonnie sent me an email back in May about Scare Yourself Every Day. It was awesome. I was completely blown away by it. She talked about how she was inspired by the blog. I’d only been doing SYED for a couple of months at that point and it was the first email that really talked about a personal connection to the blog. Since then we’ve tried to keep in touch every month or so.

I asked her to write about her experience with SYED. She enthusiastically agreed and this is what she had to say:

A little under a year ago, my boyfriend broke up with me. Through a text message. Right before our two-year anniversary. We were so perfectly in love and I was crushed. I never thought I would be one of those pathetic girls who sits around pining over their ex, eating a gallon of ice cream a day. And technically, I wasn’t; it was more like two gallons a day.

The worst part (y’know, besides having all my hopes and dreams shattered) was that I didn’t know what to do with myself. Everyone told me to keep busy, but how was I supposed to do that? My past hobbies included hanging out with my boyfriend, waiting for my boyfriend to call, and texting my boyfriend 24/7. What the hell was I doing with my life for the past two years?

After a sufficient amount of wallowing, I convinced myself that the world actually had not ended and that I should probably get out of bed and re-unite with the shower.

I started making a list of all the things I wanted to do with my newfound free time. At the top of the list was to stop being so boring. I’ve never been one to take risks. I’ve always tried to stay off the radar and, although it may not be the best way to live, at least I avoided being noticed. I would always look at people who were confident and had the guts to try new things and think, “Wow, it must be nice to be able to do that. I wish I could too.” I was so scared to take initiative, because what if I put in effort for nothing? What if I failed? Well, my life had already fallen apart, so I didn’t have much to lose. It was the perfect opportunity to become the person I always wanted to be.

It was then that a friend introduced me to Scare Yourself Every Day. When I first read it I thought the same old “Oh, he’s so great, why can’t I be like him and do scary things?” But when I actually thought about it, there was nothing keeping me from doing just that. So, I made the decision to start doing scary things. Not necessarily everyday, but as often as possible. I used to think of a million reasons not to do something that put me out of my comfort zone, but now I asked myself “why not?”

In the past year I have experienced so much. I overcame my intense fear of heights and went skydiving (I even succeeded in retaining all of my bodily fluids!). I did a presentation in front of a bunch of high school students, and yes, they’re terrifying no matter how much older than them you are. I went rafting with my sister and survived getting stranded on the river for a while (For the record, rivers are very fast the day after a hurricane.). Some things were smaller, like trying a newflavor every time I got ice cream or getting a new hairstyle for the first time since I was about five. Others were huge, like getting my first apartment and moving to the city. For a person whose idea of scary used to be using the Wii controller without wearing the safety strap, this whole experience has been a pretty big accomplishment.

A lot of the things I have done were on a more personal level. Before, I used being shy as an excuse for everything. Once I realized that I’m not actually as shy as I thought (I blame my parents. As a child they introduced me with “This is Bonnie. No, she’s okay, she’s just shy.”), talking to people wasn’t as scary. I’ve changed so much, and I’ve overcome fears that I’ve had for 20 years. I have never been more proud of I guess the most important thing I’ve learned is to just go for it. Playing it safe is risky; there’s a good chance you’ll miss out on so many opportunities. Yes, things will go wrong, but you learn to overcome the disappointment and keep going; it’s not a big deal. Courage is limitless – if you can get past your inhibitions, you can do anything.

Sometimes I still can’t believe how far I’ve come. My first scary thing was emailing Greg and thanking him for being such an inspiration. I don’t think I could have gotten to this point without reading the blog and seeing that yes, it is possible, and I have every intention of continuing this for as long as there are scary things to overcome. Thanks again, Greg!

If anyone has any suggestions for scary things to do around Boston, let me know!

heyitsbonnie@gmail.com

I’m so proud of Bonnie for doing all those things that scared her. It’s inspiring to me to hear about so she’s given that right back to me. And it’s humbling to think I had a tiny part in getting her started. Thanks Bonnie!

2 Comments to “#362 Guest Post – Bonnie”

  1. gracie 1 March 2012 at 5:45 pm #

    Wow, its wonderful to see how your blog has inspired others. I enjoyed your post Bonnie. Awesome and congrats on being even more awesome!

    • Greg 3 March 2012 at 10:32 am #

      Thanks Gracie