On Wednesday evening, I went on an impromptu run. When I say impromptu, I mean that I had the idea at 5.25pm, sent my husband a text at 5.28pm to check it would be ok for me to run when he got home, and I was out the door by 6pm. I hadn't given my route much thought, just figured I'd do a quick twenty minute run along the cycle path, round the park then home. My usual route.
As I stepped out of my front door, I was greeted by the most beautiful pink and grey skies. Our house doesn't have any great West facing views, so I had no idea sunset was so beautiful this evening. So I abandoned my planned running route, and headed West. We live in a fairly built up residential area and I was keen to find the best view possible. So I ran uphill, much faster than my average pace, desperate to soak in as much of the beauty as I could before it faded. Once I had enjoyed the sunset to the best of my ability, I turned and ran East. I didn't really know where I was, or where I was going, I just headed in the general direction of home, knowing I'd eventually get there. I encountered more hills than I had anticipated, and discovered parts of my neighbourhood that I didn't know about.
The reason I'm telling you this is because it's a helpful reminder for myself - and perhaps you too - to just start. You are capable of more than you think and can often go further, find greater adventure and more beauty than you expected - sometimes the biggest hurdle is the first step. I often think about this in relation to starting a business. Over the years, I've had a few people ask me for advice on how I started my baking business. In all honesty, the answer is that I just took the first step when I didn't have everything figured out. I made mistakes along the way and spent more money than I needed to, but ultimately, I knew that if I waited until I had done all of the research before diving in, the likelihood I would never have started. That's not to discount doing research, seeking advice and taking time with making decisions. These things are all important. It's just that it's possible to feel so overwhelmed and anxious about the consequences of these things that you don't ever try. So, just take the first step with whatever it might be that you're wanting to start - a hobby, a business, exercise, writing or reading a book. Keep putting one foot in front of the other - either physical or metaphorical - and the landscape will change in unexpected ways as you move forward.
One of my favourite books that I have read this year is Big Magic by Liz Gilbert. There were so many lessons I took away from it about creativity, and the one that has been very applicable to both my baking business and creative projects is the idea that it matters completely and it doesn't matter at all. Liz talks about how our creative ventures are incredibly important in that they are ideas and inspiration which we should follow, but they aren't costly in the way that the job of a doctor is. No-one is going to die if we keep on ignoring that idea that keeps coming to mind. But inspiration and creativity are really important and fulfilling. Sometimes the voice of potential defeat, challenge or failure can feel so loud that we just don't try pursuing inspiration, but sometimes, if we just start, we can find ourselves on wonderful adventures.