You can feel the brisk cool air blowing your hair back from the cracked window of the cab.
The driver zooms through intersections as if he’s the only one on the road.
He almost is.
As you look down at your phone, it says 4:16 AM.
He pulls over to drop you off.
You look out the window to see several cars pulled over, and about 20 people on the curb, just sitting there.
He looks back at you and says something you don’t understand.
You look up at the meter, 4320.
You hand him 5000 pesos, say gracias, grab your bags, and step out onto the unfamiliar street.
Then it hits you.
It’s that feeling again. That feeling you haven’t had in a while.
You don’t know what it is but you know its good for you.
It’s fear, a lack of control, a feeling of not really being sure of what to do or what’s going to happen next.
You look around for someone who looks like they speak english, someone similar to you, anything to make you feel safe and secure.
Some lady starts running towards you and yelling in spanish.
You don’t know what she’s saying, but you hear aeropuerto so you walk towards her.
“Aeropuerto?” you say.
Again she talks really fast, but again, you hear aeropuerto.
She throws you in a cab with 4 other strangers, and you’re off.
Next stop, Santiago.
My roommate had to write down in spanish what to say to the cab driver the night before.
The flight was leaving at 6:57 AM, and there was apparently this service that shuttled people from the city to the airport 30 miles outside Medellin.
I had heard of it, but hadn’t been to this neighborhood.
Really, I only left my neighborhood twice in about 80 days in Medellin.
I could have learned spanish by now.
But I guess I had other priorities.
So, in the middle of the night, I had to take a taxi from my apartment, to some other neighborhood, where I would find this 24 hour airport shuttle service.
Maybe it’s pathetic, but I was a little nervous about it.
When I got there, it looked more like a homeless community hanging out on the sidewalk than an “airport shuttle service.”
So when I got out of the cab, fear set in.
I scanned the sidewalk and saw a completely foreign environment.
With no cell service, I was completely disconnected from anyone I knew.
The lack of control was something I hadn’t experienced in a while.
Somehow I knew it was good for me though.
For some people, this experience would be a breeze, well within their comfort zone.
But as Billy says in his infamous graduation speech, it was tough for me so back off.
The point is that wherever your comfort zone is, expand it.
Everybody is different.
For me, taking a cab to a random neighborhood in a foreign country freaks me out a little.
For you, maybe it’s talking to your boss about a raise you’ve been thinking about.
Maybe it’s asking that girl or guy out that you’ve had a crush on.
It could be writing a post like this one, and sharing it publicly (one of mine).
Whatever it is that scares you. Makes you uncomfortable.
Stop procrastinating. Stop making excuses. Stop avoiding it at all costs.
Do it deliberately. Do it with intent.
Just do it.
From it, you will grow.