Little tent in the big woods.

When I was about 8, my cousins decided that we would pitch a tent in the woods behind our holiday home, and camp out overnight.  During the day leading up to that, it seemed like a fun, adventurous idea, but by the time evening came, I wasn’t so sure.  I remember a growing knot in my stomach, and a heightening sense of dread as everyone else got increasingly excited.  I smiled, and inwardly panicked.  When bedtime came, I managed to get into the tent, but minutes later burst into tears and ran into the house again.  Oh the relief!  But I was disappointed in myself too.

Some things never change.  It may not involve camping in the woods anymore, but my behaviour is the same.  Every ‘exciting’ experience I ever have, I approach with the same mixture of dwindling excitement and growing apprehension.  The only difference is that now, as a grown-up, I don’t have the option of running away.  On the whole, I am glad about that.  If I had been able to run away, I would have never lived in France for a year, difficult as that was.  I wouldn’t have gone away to university.  I wouldn’t have had children.  And oh so much more.  There are many days when I face the temptation of hiding away in my safe home, and not venturing out to the big, scary woods.  But, as I discovered a year on, camping out can be a lot of fun.

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