My Name Isn’t Eleanor. It’s Molly.
So who is Eleanor?
She’s Eleanor Roosevelt, the US’s longest-serving First Lady and total badass (my words, not hers).
Eleanor famously said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.”
I liked that idea. The trouble is, in order for ideas to work, you have to take action.
I’d slowly transformed from an adventurous twenty-something, working her dream job and traveling whenever she could to a bored thirty-something, uninspired by work and the world around me.
I was stuck in a rut.
After months (maybe years) of complaining, I decided to fix it.
In October of 2013, I took Eleanor’s advice and started doing one thing every day that scared me, chronicling the experience on my blog, Hey Eleanor. I thought I needed to conquer big, fat, stereotypical fears like skydiving, bungy jumping and hang gliding. I sprinkled in lots of nan-adrenaline-seeking challenges to fluff up the space between, like cooking mussels at home and even taking the bus home from work.
As it turns out, I learned more from conquering everyday fears than I did jumping out of a plane.
The things that can’t kill you are often the scariest things.
Facing those small fears made a huge impact on my life. Instead of complaining when my husband asked to help out in the garage, I eagerly agreed, knowing I’d get a great blog post out of it. I stopped waiting on friends and family’s availability to check out that new movie, museum or restaurant. If I wanted to go and no one could join me, I just went by myself and guess what? It was still fun!
Unintentionally, I got into the practice of living outside my comfort zone. Saying yes when I’d normally have said no became second nature. It’s not that I was no longer afraid, but as it turns out, you can practice being afraid. The more you do it, the less daunting scary things feel. Also, I learned that nothing is as scary in reality as it is in your head. Except bungy jumping, which is way worse.
WHEN YOU SEE THE WORLD AS Full of OPPORTUNITIES, NOT OBSTACLES,
EVERY DAY IS AN ADVENTURE.
I’m happier, healthier and more fun to be around. It’s awesome.
While I still write about conquering fear, I no longer write about it every day. Instead, I’m sharing the ways I make every day an adventure. Because you don’t have to fly half-way around the world to live life to the fullest (though that works, too). Adventures can happen a state a way, down the street or in your own backyard. You have the opportunity for adventures every day. It’s just a matter of seeing them, and then saying, sure, let’s do this!
The daughter of a flight attendant and a hippy-turned-real estate developer who toured Europe in a Volkswagen bus, I arrived on earth with an undeniable sense of adventure. From hiking the Antarctic Peninsula, to outrunning a hyena in South Africa and even driving a street-legal monster truck through Des Moines, Iowa—I never turn down an opportunity to do something crazy. I worked as Andrew Zimmern‘s right-hand (for nearly eight years!); we’ve co-written three books together and currently co-host a weekly podcast called “Go Fork Yourself.” These days, I’m a freelance writer and blogger, full-time. It’s a dream come true. You can see my work in Delta Sky Magazine, Food & Wine, Eater.com, Minneapolis | Saint Paul Magazine, to name a few. My latest project, Hey Eleanor!, chronicles my experiences living outside my comfort zone and making every day an adventure. I live in Minneapolis with my husband (Josh), dog (Patsy) and kitty (Bogart). I love coffee, crossword puzzles and am very good at parallel parking.