I’m actually not ready.

But that’s the point.

I’m not ready in the traditional way that you would come to a place in time and go, “Okay I think it’s time to do this because I feel good about what’s going to come.”

Truth is, there’s a sense of anxiety there about the adventure that’s right in front of me.

How could you ever be ready for something like this?

What I’ve discovered in the weeks of past in sitting with this is that everything for me relates back to this moment of when I first went fishing on my own in high school.

For my entire life, I had been going fishing with company and we would always stop at a specific spot, and then fish back down river from there. I had always asked myself, “I wonder what’s farther up that way?” but never had the opportunity to just keep going and going into the wilderness.

One evening, I decided to wake up in the early morning and head out on my own.

My intention? Go as far as I could and see what was out there.

I remember bounding through the forest and scattering up the big granite rocks always looking for what was right around the corner. The thrill of this adventure lit me up inside. There was this energy. There was this electricity running through my veins.

It dawned on me as I looked back throughout my life, I had always been fascinated with traveling “off trail.”

I wanted to go to the places no one else had been.

Those places felt sacred to me. Untouched. In a way, I felt like I could honor those spots and leave an energy behind that other people could potentially feel.

But back to fishing.

I finally came across “The Spot” as it would instantly be called – a perfect waterfall funneling down into a vast deep pool full of massive native brown and rainbow trout.

I spent the next few hours fishing in complete isolation.

I was alive.

I was totally connected.

No talking.

No sounds but nature doing what it has been doing for billions of years on its very own.

Just me, the water, my pole, and the fish looming in the water in search of dinner.

I realized when I came back to this moment that my journey was going to follow the steps of a few that have paved the way for me (similar to that initial trail that I would follow fishing) and yet there would come a point when I would have to leave all of that behind and go on my own adventure off trail.

But to get to that place, I had to walk those steps first.

I couldn’t jump to that moment where I was completely past where other people had been.

I realized that I had to learn to appreciate the steps others had taken to get them to where they eventually were. And despite my inner child not being incredibly happy about that, I’ve learned to appreciate that fact.

But there’s one journey that’s completely on my own and that’s the journey I am taking within.

There are no previous steps taken there…only the footsteps that I decide to leave in the sand.

That’s for me and for me alone.

I realize now that my paralysis in moving forward despite the whispers of my intuition was due to wanting to be in a place I hadn’t quite earned yet for myself.

I wanted to take 10 steps before I took 1.

I wanted to be farther along and I lost sight of appreciating where I was.

That external pressure of narrative can really get to me sometimes.

But the internal pressure of my intuition tells me to dive farther into where I am now and start to discover what’s there.

I know without a doubt in my heart that I can continue on after this brief intermission.

Sometimes, you have to get lost to be found.

Evan Sanders
The Better Man Project