Dare to Begin

By Chloe Delaney Chloe is a distance education student from Brisbane, currently completing her third year in a BA majoring in archaeology and palaeoanthropology with the aim of being a forensic anthropologist in the future. In her spare time, she likes to read a lot of books and play field hockey.

At some point during the ridiculous heat of the Queensland summer, I found myself reluctantly squished into the front row of a crowded cinema theatre to escape a 42 degree day. Popcorn in hand, I strategically positioned my neck in a place where I thought it would least hurt as a result of the perilous front row, and settled in for the movie. By the end, I was really intrigued by what I found. It definitely got me thinking about life and how we make ourselves “start over”.

Still from 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty' (2013)

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty follows the story of a man who signs up to e-harmony and realises that he has nothing to put in the “achievements” section of the site. Hasn’t been anywhere, or done anything particularly spectacular with the forty-odd years of his life. What follows is a whirlwind adventure to Greenland and across various parts of the world (to impress a girl, by the way, which I thought was pretty spectacular myself—why can’t someone trek across Europe for me??) which leads him to realise what life really is and his purpose in it. Somewhat cheesy, I know.

But it got me thinking. How many of us are exactly like Walter Mitty, sitting at home or living our everyday lives with no adventure? How many of us have dreams or aspirations that are never accomplished? Why don’t we trek across Europe to impress the one we love?

Truth is, these things require new beginnings, which are really hard and really scary. We don’t apply for the new job because we don’t want to deal with a whole bunch of scary new people, or we don’t start that new uni course because it might be too hard. Things like money and work definitely get in the way, and of course there are always those kids and the dogs and the other things that you have to pay for.

Photo credit: Chloe Delaney

But are we just using these things as excuses to not do the things that we’ve always wanted to do? If you are an adventure-less Walter Mitty or if you haven’t tried anything new for a while, you probably need a new beginning, or at least a crazy adventure!

Well, here is the sign. 2014 is the year for you to do everything you’ve always made excuses not to do!

Sure, you might have kids and dogs to feed, but spend this year saying ‘YES’ anyway. Start the diet you were supposed to start way back in January, go on that trip and see the places you’ve always wanted to see, and apply for the course you’ve always wanted to do. I won’t lie, it will be scary. But once you say yes, you’re making a new beginning! Starting a new adventure! And you definitely won’t regret that one.

How do I know?

I took on the ‘yes’ adventure in 2013, and it got me to some pretty awesome places with some pretty awesome people. Before I go any further I will say that I am only 20, and a student. I don’t have that much money and I don’t have a full time job.

But regardless of this, a simple ‘yes’ got me writing for the Nucleus, volunteering, moving out of home for the first time, and on a crazy trip around Europe. Yep. I said yes one day, and (about nine months later) I found myself on the top of the Eiffel Tower, riding bikes around Amsterdam and ascending the snowy Swiss Alps. Nothing is impossible if you really want to achieve it.

Photo credit: Chloe Delaney

In fact, all a new beginning requires is a ‘yes.’ You don’t have to go all the way to Europe to impress someone (although it definitely will do you some favours with whoever you’re trying to impress) but you can start with small steps. I assure you that 2014 will be amazing if you dare to take on everything you’ve ever set out to do.

So don’t be an adventurous-less Walter Mitty. And don’t be that person that sits in the front row of the cinema either, you’ll end up with a really sore neck. Be the adventurous Walter Mitty, and make a new beginning in 2014. It’s never too late to try something new.

So get out there, stay away from the front row of the cinemas and get started with your new beginnings!

Good luck!

Photo credits: Chloe Delaney


Here is some inspiration to get you started!

The best is yet to be. - Robert browning

The beginning is the most important part of the work. - Plato

Life is not a dress rehearsal. Stop practicing what you’re going to do and just go do it. In one bold stroke you can transform today. - Marilyn Grey

What is not started today is never finished tomorrow. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

All glory comes from daring to begin. Eugene F. Ware

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