Just a few days ago, Facebook showed me a memory from six years ago–a post I had made right after our very first honey harvest. I couldn't believe it had been six years.
Have you ever done something totally out of your comfort zone? Something that felt scary, exciting, and that just barely pushed the boundaries of what you felt like you could do?
I'm not talking about something irresponsible or rash, but rather those things that are just extraordinary enough to make your heart race a tiny bit.
That's how Robert and I felt when we ordered our first hive of bees back in 2010.
It was our first year in our rural mountain town. Our new hive arrived just about the same time we found out we were pregnant with our first child. And just like with parenthood, we had read many many books, explored forums, and gotten all the equipment we needed to prepare. But nothing would prepare us for the joy and nervousness of that first day!
When I look back on it, one of the most interesting thing about our introduction to beekeeping was this: I had no idea how trying something new would change so much about the direction of my life.
You see, that first honey harvest brought us more than honey. It also brought beeswax. And with that beeswax, I made my very first lip balm.
We also had enough honey to sell to our neighbors at an open house for a local farmstand. It was the first time I had ever thought about labeling, packaging, pricing, or selling anything at a live event.
After that day, the farm owner asked if she could sell the lip balms I had started making at her shop. It was my first wholesale customer.
From that day on, I fell in love with business. I fell in love with the creativity involved, the potential for connection with customers, the depth of learning.
Stepping outside of my comfort zone with beekeeping led to a new comfort zone. Once there, I was once more invited to step a little further out. Again and again, I experienced the discomfort of trying something new and slowly getting used to my new "zone"–not unlike jumping into a pool and feeling the shock of the cold water on your skin for the first few minutes.
But despite the initial nerves, I'm exponentially better for each venture outward. I may not end up in the same place I initially thought I would, but the new experiences I've had and lessons I've learned have given me a greater depth of knowledge and a richer experience of this incredible, nuanced, and often-surprising life.
If there's something out there you're thinking of trying these days–taking up a new hobby, learning a new skill, getting involved with a new group in your community, writing a blog, trying a new exercise–here's your little push to give it a try. Go on. Take the first step today.
…you just never know where it might lead.
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