PHOTO by The Korea Times


I am starting something today. This blog.*

There’s the possibility of failure, of course. Taking the leap of vulnerability – entering the ring – only to fall completely, naked, exposed and rejected. All too often, the avoidance of potential disappointment provides enough comfort and the illusion of safety to keep us unmoved.

But what if we succeed? What if taking that risk pays off, resulting in enhanced relationship, increased resources, or the unparalleled satisfaction and joy that comes from leaning in. Even so, for some the fear of success is just as paralyzing.

With success can come guilt, competition, increased demands, more complications, greater fear about what you have to lose, and even the potential of damaged relationship due to others’ jealousy and our own pride.

Sometimes, for me, success seems even more terrifying.

I am not a risk-taker. I hold back. I fail to act. I self-protect. I make excuses, ones that sound noble and selfless. And while I present myself to those close to me as an open-book, I have many fears and dreams that I hold in secret, deep down close to my soul.

Thankfully, whether you fear failure or success, neither outcome is permanent. And although it may not be lacking in difficulty, something divine and magical happens when your gifts, passions, patience and sweat are aligned.

I turn thirty years old today, which feels monumental only because the Egyptians (or some other historic people group) made the decision to count in increments of ten. Needless to say, it’s a milestone – one I’m finding difficult to ignore. It feels weighty and inappropriately significant in a way that is impossible to meet my expectations.

It’s moments like this that the world tells you, “you need something more” – more success, more money, more fulfillments, or simply more people that call you friend and are willing to join the occasion to celebrate you. But “more” doesn’t always come. And I’m finding that even when it does, it’s never enough.

So instead of dwelling in the perceived lack, I am giving myself this birthday gift.  I am leaning in and starting something I’ve dreamt about, but avoided for too long. I am opening my soul. I’m exposing my heart – my raw heart, if you will – and taking the risk of processing some of my deepest thoughts about life, love, family, friendship and faith in this public forum.

Not because I am wise. I assure you, I am not. But, because the older I get, the more I am learning that there’s little life in a life held back. And when you truly find life, all you want is to give it away.

*Originally posted on