who do you want to be?

Lately, I’ve been basing most of my decisions off of one question:

“What kind of person do you want to be?”

It’s the kind of question that doesn’t leave much room for fear or excuses. It forces me to be intentional about my choices and think about the kind of life I’m creating for myself. It was the question that led me to go camping by myself this summer, and to go hiking alone a couple of weeks ago, even though I had anxiety-induced stress dreams about it the entire night before. It’s the question that keeps me sitting here, fingers to the keyboard, writing this right now (when honestly, I really want to distract myself with something meaningless).

I don’t want to be a woman who is controlled by fear. I don’t want to be a woman who lives her life solely in daydreams; I want to be the woman who takes those dreams and puts them into action.

I want to be strong.
I want to be intelligent.
I want to be kind.
I want to be loving.
I want to be brave.

I want to be the kind of woman who tries new things, even if they’re a little intimidating. I want to be a woman who challenges herself to push a little harder, go a little farther, climb a little higher. I want to be someone who creates beautiful artwork that means something to people, and who writes with passion and vulnerability. I want to be the kind of woman who is full of adventure, hope, and strength.

Usually, that means doing things I’m not completely comfortable doing. It means feeling awkward and a little unsure of myself. It means not being perfect, but putting myself out there anyway. It means taking action, even when I don’t feel like it. The choices I make in this moment are what determine the person I become in the next.

And step by step, it becomes a little easier and less scary. The things that once felt foreign start to feel familiar. I start feeling like myself again—stronger and confident in my new skin.

Originally published on Adventure & the Wild.

Brittany Stoess