Everyone has them.  Views, opinions, morals, standards, ethics, beliefs…call them what you will.  But they’re all quite similar…you hold a preconceived notion about certain things based on the way you grew up, the people you knew, and the experiences you had.  So why do we assume these to be solid, static characteristics in when we live in a dynamic world?  If they are a result of your upbringing, why can they not be changed by your continued growth?  The fact is that you can’t just sit and wait for these things to happen, you have to make them happen.  Take risks.  Try something new.  That is the only way you can grow, and the only way you can challenge your preconceptions.  Will they stand the test of experience?  Will someone new, someone special, introduce you to a whole new perspective?  Will the uncensored world turn your world upside down?

Sometimes things don’t change.  A lot of my beliefs are very similar to how they’ve been as far as I can remember.  I still value loyalty, and I believe you should honor commitments.  But these are things that I hope will never change, for if they do then I have begun down the wrong path.  Other things are changing though.  I’ve met someone who is challenging some of those beliefs.  Are we similar?  Yes, definitely.  Are we the same?  Hell no.  But because my stakes in our relationship are so high I cannot hide from those differences.  Rather, I embrace the and seek to learn from them.  Tonight I realized that I have indeed changed.  I have taken a step outside my box and realized there is no danger on the other side.

That is not to say I do not still fear leaving my bubble, but everyone must feel this way sometimes.  It is a fundamental aspect of humanity.  We have the ability to know, the ability to learn, and the ability to comprehend.  But we also have the ability to fear, and rightly so.  Fear keeps us safe; it prevents us from danger and allows us to avoid that which is not good for our health.  Yet Fear can also hurt, as it can prevent us from continuing along a path of growth.  For awhile I feared that small step, for I knew not what lay on the other side.  I knew only Fear’s soft whisper, playing at the back of my mind.  “No” it said.  “This is not right.”  Well you know what Fear, shut the hell up.  All those who know me know I love to push the rules, to find the limits, to challenge the authorities.  Not to hurt, not to demean, but simply to do it.  How far can I push before the barrier snaps?

Well, guess what Fear.  I dare you to control me.  I dare you to step in my way.  Because I know that nothing you do can stop me.  You may hold me down, you may trip me up, but I know that I WILL overcome.  For that is what I do.  I push.  I aspire.  I challenge.

And Fear, I challenge you.