Garth Brooks wrote a song called "Standing Outside the Fire" and the lyrics struck a chord (pun intended) with me long ago and I still think of them often.
We call them cool Those hearts that have no scars to show The ones that never do let go And risk it the tables being turned
We call them fools Who have to dance within the flame Who chance the sorrow and the shame That always come with getting burned
But you got to be tough when consumed by desire 'Cause it's not enough just to stand outside the fire We call them strong Those who can face this world alone Who seem to get by on their own Those who will never take the fall
We call them weak Who are unable to resist The slightest chance love might exist And for that forsake it all
They're so hell-bent on giving, walking a wire Convinced it's not living if you stand outside the fire
[Chorus:] Standing outside the fire Standing outside the fire Life is not tried it is merely survived If you're standing outside the fire
There's this love that is burning Deep in my soul Constantly yearning to get out of control Wanting to fly higher and higher I can't abide standing outside the fire
It teaches a lesson that far too many of us learn too late. Teaching my own children to be fearless was one of my greatest endeavors and I am happy to say I was successful. They have tried and accomplished things that too many only dream of for themselves. They have taken risks and have a few scars to prove it... but they have lived, laughed and loved and that is the hope of all parents.
Take risks. Challenge yourself. Try new things. Don't take yourself too seriously. Sing, dance and play every single chance you get. Don't waste a single moment on worrying about what others will think. Do not allow anyone or anything to keep you from what you love, what makes you happy.
Live your life, don't merely survive it.
(Note: The phrase "Life is not tried, it is merely survived if you're standing outside the fire" was Sierra's senior quote.)