Exist Loudly

The Year of Living Dangerously

Before anyone reads that and thinks I’m going to run out carrying a shotgun and a sword, I’m gonna need you to slow your roll. If I did run around carrying one or both of those, I’d probably shoot myself and trip and stab myself. Now that bit of information is out of the way, the year of living dangerously just means living out of your comfort zone(s).

And boy, do I have a lot of comfort zones I am living out of. Possibly living out of all my comfort zones.


Melany, me, Amy at The Gin Mil circa ??

First, I have to say there are two people who have been by my side every waking day and night since November that have encouraged, inspired, motivated, and just made sure I never gave up when I was losing all hope, dreams, reality, and momentum and that is Amy and Melany. These two bitches (and they know I mean that with the utmost love and respect) have honest to goodness been with me every day since I got to Australia. They have checked in on me daily and it is now tradition and custom for us to chat in the morning and in the evening as both sides of our world wake up and go to sleep. They have shared every personal journey I have been on here in Australia and by god, they have kept me sane and have made me feel loved. More importantly, for every moment I want to run away in fear of leaving my comfort zone, they encourage me to push a wall down, to take a step forward, to stand strong and let the waves crash over me until the water is calm, to just take a deep breath and enjoy the moment and most of all just believe. Believe in myself, the Universe, and what is happening. My year of living dangerously could not happen without these two. As I confess a fear of being vulnerable with people and situations and being scared of the new, they hold my hand albeit figuratively until the fear subsides.

And if you’re thinking, Shelia, what are you doing that’s living dangerously, then you’re going to be really disappointed when I say it’s not jumping out of airplanes or swimming in shark infested waters (though I’m not opposed to any of that).

This year of living dangerously is:
1 – living in trust. Trusting that I am who I am and that I do who I am. As I’ve learned from many episodes of RuPaul’s Drag Race, “just do you” or “just be you”. I also am trusting that others are who they are. I don’t want to be a different version of me for anyone and I don’t want anyone to be a different version of them for me. There’s no judgement on my part. I do me. You do you. Let’s party.

2 – living in honor (or in AUS spelling honour). I want to treat people with regard. I’m not going to put anyone on a pedestal or myself, but I will honor myself and in doing so I am willing to know what someone else requires/desires and I am willing to deliver that.

3 – living in allowance. No one is right or wrong. I acknowledge that what other people do/say is an interesting point of view and therefore allow them to be who they are with no expectations and this allows me to be me with no expectations.

4 – living in vulnerability. Possibly the hardest for me. I have a lot of fucking barriers and walls. I can create separation from sense of self, people, things, etc in the time it takes people to blink. I am superb at it. Though some might think it’s a strength, I see it as a weakness. I don’t want to live a life holed up in imaginary walls. I want to explore the dark recesses of my mind and I would like company when needed. I don’t want to judge and reject people or situations that don’t align/agree with my projected ideas. I suppose in the words of Lloyd Dobler, “I wanna get hurt” kind of sums it up. Let down walls so you can live a little and experience the beauty of life.

5 – living in gratitude. I wake up every morning and name 5 things I’m grateful for each day and if I somehow forget to, I name 5 things I’m grateful for at the end of my day. I am grateful for everyone in my life, no matter who they are, no matter the choices, no matter what choice they may be choosing in the moment. I see the gift in people, situations, and things. I am grateful for every person, creature, situation that my life is fortunate to cross. I know I am better for it.

That’s the year of living dangerously. Not race cars and shotguns, but looking in and continuing to find what inspires, moves, motivates, and makes me happy.