To Live an Extraordinary Life

Some nights I go to bed with this fear…. this fear that I settle for mediocrity way too easily. Then other nights I go to bed with a different fear…. this fear that I might have to actually rise above mediocrity!

This is a blog that I (Breanna) wrote on my personal blog about a year ago and I decided it was time to bring it back because it’s such a great challenge to me! I also want to give a glimpse into what drives me… it’s for all the people out there (you) who have gone out of your way to follow Radiant and support us. You’ve given us your time and energy, so I figure you deserve to see some vulnerability and genuineness on our part.  So here goes, here’s the real Breanna… chipped nails, frizzy hair and all.

For the past year or so I’ve had this persistent nagging feeling that I need to live an extraordinary life. My religious convictions definitely tell me this, but it’s all too easy to lie to myself and say that I am following my beliefs. I keep being faced with this challenge of being extreme. This idea that I can’t settle for comfort, for safety, and for a life wasted on my own pleasures.

I have long had a taste of disgust in my mouth for the “American Dream”. But no matter how bad the flavor, I keep eating it. I swallow more and more every single day, and now it is the nourishment that sustains me and drives me. Unfortunately my “nourishment” is really a poison that kills me slowly each minute.

OK, so enough of the drama here…. I got going and I couldn’t stop with the strong analogies of death and doom (it’s fun sometimes). Really though, I keep feeling that I need to live an extraordinary life, but everything inside of me longs for ordinary at the same time. I happen to be a very fearful person who uses high levels of control to attempt to block anything I fear that might threaten my own personal happiness in the little world I’ve created around me. This is a terrible, horrible thing to do by the way…. so if any one else out there is guilty of this you should definitely stop before you push away everyone and everything of value by trying to hold on to them too tightly.

(Man, I keep trying to make this light-hearted and it keeps coming back down a notch. I’ll keep trying, bear with me!)

Anyways, so here you have this fearful, controlling, high-maintenance (yes, I can finally admit that), lazy girl who is so scared of the unknown and of pushing herself when she doesn’t have to, who’s content to stay right where she’s at….. being totally dragged into an extraordinary life. I’m sure if I ever get to the place deemed “extraordinary” (I have no idea where that actually is or what it entails by the way) I’ll be able to look back on the things I gave up (comfort, security, an easier life) and say it was all worth it. But…. I’m just…. not quite….. there yet (those dots are meant to represent the tug of war going on inside of me).

I do want it though. I do want to be free. I want to be free of worrying about all the things that are not mine to worry about. I want to be able to stand for something bigger than myself and really make all the sacrifices that are necessary to accomplish the goals associated with that. I want to be free of seeking things that will only leave me empty in the end. I want to instead, pursue things that fill me with the breath I was meant to breathe…. with the life I was meant know.

It’s so big, you know? Life is so huge! Sometimes when I’m worried about all the little things and stuck in the cycle of useless, unimportant obsession in my head…. I stop and think about how many facts a person could learn about puppies, or about wallpaper, or about bone marrow. There is so so so much. So much to talk about, learn about, do, and experience. And I get stuck in my own safe routine, in my own oh-so tiny world. It confines me and it traps me. My own measures of protection, my own safety defenses, are what attack me. I’m working so hard to let them go. To let them go and to just trust.

For so long I have trusted only in myself…. only in my knowledge and my abilities. I need to start to trust in my LACK of knowledge and abilities. In the world that is bigger than I, in the people that have lived more than me, in the God that actually created all of it. I know nothing and I am nothing. But there is a ton out there to become and to be. And I want to go after it.

I may never get a house. I may never have a 401K (still don’t know what that means really but I think it’s something people want). I may never please everyone and I may never feel completely comfortable ever again…..

But I need and want to be OK with that. I want to be excited about trading in the mundane for a life of extraordinaire. I need to realize that as long as I pursue my stability, comfort, and personal happiness above all else…. I will never get any farther than that. I will never know what life was meant to be and how it was meant to be used.

Oh holy crap…. I’m terrified.

April 29, 2010 - 5:20 pm

Molly Ellison - Loved it then, love it now. Love you!

May 5, 2010 - 11:03 pm

Amanda Pacion - Totally!!! This is why we need to get coffee and challenge each other and talk about what it means to not be comfortable….scary. Love you!

May 6, 2010 - 12:41 pm

Glennen - Your photography and writing is so inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing this.

June 4, 2010 - 9:53 am

A trip down memory lane with Scottie and Breanna (OUR wedding story). « Radiant Life - [...] When we started talking about marriage, I told him I’d marry him if he quit his job because I was more interested in having a real live husband around than I was in having the security that his job provided. Read more about why I felt that way HERE. [...]

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