Thursday, January 28, 2021

“Let Go, Jump In … Well, Whatcha Waiting For?”

December 20, 2009 by  
Filed under Self Esteem, Wellness

Since it’s almost the new year — when people start making resolutions that they will inevitably break by Jan. 15 — I thought instead, we could focus on what we can do TODAY to start living the life we deserve.

As Eleanor Roosevelt said (and we have on the homepage here): “Do one thing every day that scares you.” It’s something I’ve really been thinking about a lot lately, and embracing as much as I can.

So here’s my question to you: Are you holding back doing something you’ve always wanted to do?

My challenge to us: Let’s make a collective effort to stop being afraid to do things simply because we feel we’re not “smart” enough, “thin” enough, “pretty” enough, “funny” enough, “brave” enough, “strong” enough …

Because you ARE enough. Exactly as you are.

Part of my journey the past year and a half has been about just that: self-acceptance … flaws, challenges and all.

It’s meant taking risks, putting myself out there,  and opening myself up for rejection and criticism from people I care about.

It’s meant placing myself in uncomfortable situations, and it’s meant being quite vulnerable — trying to find my footing while hundreds of readers a day watch (the overwhelming support has been indescribable).

Yet ultimately, I think that this learned fearlessness (because it’s not innate to me) has made me a better, stronger person. I’ve learned that sometimes we find strength out of necessity.

Anyway, one of my absolute favorite movies is Zach Braff’s genius brainchild, Garden State. As a native Jersey girl, I know all about the terrible stereotypes about my home state.

I also know they’re not all true — and this movie is, like bagels, the shore, malls, Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi — part of New Jersey’s pride and joy.

Anyway, one of the songs from the film that haunts me in the most delicious way is about risk-taking. You might know it — “Let Go,” by Frou Frou. (I embedded a video clip in this post for anyone interested).

Here are all the lyrics. I bolded the chorus, my favorite part. I think it speaks volumes.

“let go,” by frou frou

drink up, baby down
mmm, are you in or are you out
leave your things behind
’cause it’s all going off without you
excuse me, too busy you’re writing your tragedy
these mishaps
you bubble wrap
when you’ve no idea what you’re like

so let go, jump in
oh well, whatcha waiting for
it’s alright
’cause there’s beauty in the breakdown
so let go, just get in
oh, it’s so amazing here
it’s alright
’cause there’s beauty in the breakdown

it gains the more it gives
and then it rises with the fall
so hand me that remote
can’t you see that all that stuff’s a sideshow

such boundless pleasure
we’ve no time for later now
you can’t await your own arrival
you’ve 20 seconds to comply

so let go, jump in
oh well, whatcha waiting for
it’s alright
’cause there’s beauty in the breakdown
so let go, just get in
oh, it’s so amazing here
it’s alright
’cause there’s beauty in the breakdown

I can’t hear that song without wanting to challenge myself to try something new; to put my fears aside and jump right in — to whatever that may be at the moment.

Because as the song notes, “it’s all goin off without you” — whether you are sitting on the sidelines or on the field.

So you might as well get up to bat. You might not know what kind of curve-ball life will throw at you, but you have far more to lose sitting out than stepping up to the plate.

How about you? Is there something you’ve been holding back on doing, that you’ve vowed to change? Can you take that risk today, or take the first steps needed to achieve your goal?


12 Responses to ““Let Go, Jump In … Well, Whatcha Waiting For?””
  1. Mish says:

    I LOVE this post. I LOVE that movie. Great stuff.

    I was sitting in my bed last night after shoving myself full of crap at a party and I actually thought ‘I am no longer going to struggle’.

    There’s something comforting in saying ‘I have a couple more pounds to lose’ ‘I am struggling with weight’ ‘I should be working out more’

    There’s something about a broken record that become ‘you’ at times.

    The struggle is no longer something that I want. I say something recently that said ‘let go of the past with joy’ and I loved that.

    2010 is the year of letting go of the struggle and releasing my past.

    thank you for the post.

  2. Lance says:

    This past year has really been about stepping up to the plate for me. Except when I haven’t. I recognize that, too, though. And in seeing all of this, I also see that getting up there and swinging – whether it’s a strikeout or a home run, or somewhere in between – it’s about really living the life we deeply desire. And as we approach the new year, I feel an even greater sense of being out there on the field of life – living, loving, being…

    Love the post!!

  3. love2eatinpa says:

    great post! i know i often fall into the rut of lettng life just pass me by. i need to make a point of putting myself out there. i took a huge step with my blog and hope that i will take further steps in 2010.

  4. CandiceBP says:

    I LOVE that movie (as a Jersey girl, myself). I actually show it in the classes I teach and use it to teach film review and other stuff. The soundtrack to the whole film is absolutely amazing. I think I listened to it for four months straight when I got it.

    My big thing next year will be speaking up. I hate conflict and so I tend to just back off and let people say/do what they want too often. I need to step in and say something. We’ll be having a kid and I don’t want to deal with all the people telling me how to raise him/her, how to feed, what to feed, when to do this, that and the other – so I’ve been working on deflecting/reasoning away that kind of talk.

  5. Lissa10279 says:

    Thank you for all your comments and insight. Glad to see so many of you ready to step up, or realizing you already are. Life’s too short for coulda/woulda moments. There is only now.

  6. Tracy says:

    I too LOVE that song and the lyrics seem to resonate in some deep part of me that seeks more out of everyday.
    The line I especially love is “’cause there’s beauty in the breakdown”. I feel that like speaks to the part of everyone of us that fears the rejection and the failure when we take these risks whether they be simple or complex. The line reminds us that even when things fall apart there is beauty in it reminding us that we ARE capable of taking the risk and accepting the challenge and the lessons learned in the process. No risk is without reward regardless of the outcome.

  7. Nell says:

    I haven’t seen the movie- shame on me! Looks to be genius!

    The thing I want to change… well… my biggest fear is letting someone down. Not measuring up to expectations. This has gotten out of control a little lately, what with work (shorter and shorter deadlines, more and more cases and only “you can do this- you always do!” to show for it), family (are you sure you’ll stay just a week? Come on, you can take more time off, right?), private lives (how can you not like Twilight? Isn’t it romantic? No WAY he’s a stalker! thrown at me by roomie ever since I dared speak up about my real and honest hatred of everything sparklepire. It gets exhausting trying to tell her that I DO have an appreciation for romance, it’s just not for a controlling marble statue pillow biter), guy friends (you will do this tournament with us, right? There’s recreation bb tonight! We need you to make this and that food!), girl friends (you never have TIME for us anymore!), brothers (you’re just so DIFFERENT!), myself (your deadline for making associate is coming up! What are you going to do? You need to do better! Your phD thesis is not even half finished! You’re such a slacker)…

    I know I can’t change all that, it’s too hard to completely revamp your personality all at once. Instead, my resolution is going to be simple and difficult at the same time: Sleep at least six hours a night. I WILL have to let people down in order to accomplish it, there’s no way sleep fits into the schedule I’m running at the moment (again, it’s past 2am here and I’m still not ready to settle for the night). I’ll try to see that there’s things I can safely leave to tomorrow. My inner perfectionist is going haywire at this prospect, but I really NEED to do this or I’ll be a burned-out wreck in a couple more years. Sooo… stop worrying about every detail being THE THING that makes people see what a letdown I am. See and appreciate my limits. Try being less of a perfectionist.

    Phew, tall order! But, as one famous spacecraft captain once said: Never give up! Never surrender!

    (uh, yeah, that’s more the kind of movies I watch)

  8. lissa10279 says:

    You can do it, Nell — have faith in yourself!!!

  9. Julie says:

    Yes. That has been one of the things I try to commit to myself each week. Try something new.

  10. Meems says:

    Right after college I was in a job that paid too little, had a terrible commute, didn’t cover health care, and was having trouble making ends meet – plus I was in an awful relationship. I listened to this song constantly and felt so much better for it.

    I’m already doing something that scares me – applying to PhD programs – but in the coming year I’m going to (hopefully) have to decide where to go and will almost certainly have to move to a new city, leave my friends behind, and more or less start over…

  11. cggirl says:

    Ah very cool. I have two seemingly contradictory problems but maybe they are really two sides of the same coin.
    One is to, as you say, really be brave and DO stuff. Like apply for seemingly impossible jobs, for instance.
    The other is that sometimes there’s a really good reason something scares me! Can’t do EVERYthing I’m scared of. Figuring out where to draw the line is an interesting challenge.

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