For the Women Who Aren’t Afraid.

Mace, a $24 first aid kit, two cheap LED flashlights, and a box of granola bars. That was enough to catch the attention of Susan, the kind cashier at Wal-Mart helping me check out.

“You going on an adventure there, sweetheart?” she asked curiously.

I nodded my head and explained I was going on a hike. It was the first time I’d been hiking on my own since none of my friends could join that day. I wanted to be prepared for anything even though the trail I was going on had heavy traffic. I didn’t think that it was a big deal to go alone. I’ve been hiking and camping out in nature ever since I was a little girl. My family didn’t do the traditional vacations at Disneyland resorts or cruises that many of my friends were accustomed to. Nope. My family knew how to sleep in a tent without a shower for days on end and have fun doing it.

“You aren’t going alone there are you?” she asked.

I again nodded my head in response.

The look of fear I saw on her face after I said that I was going alone was enough to make me want to turn around to make sure the boogie man wasn’t behind me.

“You shouldn’t do that sweetheart. It’s dangerous out there for girls like you.”

I just stood and smiled, thanked her for her kindness and concern, took my items and left.

When will we start stopping?

When will women stop being afraid? When will we stop being afraid to go to the bathroom alone? When will we stop being afraid to ask for permission to go and do the things we love? When will we start to realize that it’s society that tells us we aren’t strong enough to make it on our own? That we need to have the buddy system apply to us for the rest of our lives?

If I were a 20-year-old male going out on my own, I have my suspicions that Susan probably wouldn’t have made any comment.

As a woman whose life goal is to pack up her Jeep and dog and travel the world to gain experiences alone, it’s disheartening to know that there are still women out there who don’t have faith in themselves.

What if the boogie man really had been standing behind me in that Wal-Mart line holding a gun up to my head telling me I could give my last words. What if the Rocky Mountain fault line all of a sudden decided to shift giving way to a 7.5 magnitude earthquake right then? What if I suddenly died from a heart attack walking back to my car in the middle of the parking lot? What if? What if? What if?

 

For the women who aren’t afraid to let the “what if’s” decide their life adventure.

There are so many what if’s in this world. What if a stalker really had followed me up that trail away from all the people and took me captive? What if I fell off the waterfall while looking over the edge and died? What if I missed out on one of the best experiences of my life because I listened to Susan? There are so many “what if’s” in this life, that we won’t ever accomplish anything if we let them hold us back.

We can’t let the decisions of others control our fate. You don’t need someone else to hold your hand while you’re determining your destiny. Go out there and do that thing you’ve been longing to do! Do it on your own and accomplish your dreams!

I’ve made a commitment to myself that I’m not going to let the what if’s hold me back any longer.

This is for the women who aren’t afraid. I’m dedicating my very first blog post, to the women who won’t let those “what if’s” hold them back. To the women who understand that it’s ok to do daring things alone. To the women who want to break the stereotypes that seem to hold them back in many ways. This is especially for the women who choose their own life adventure the way they want it written.

In the wise words of REI’s most recent advertising campaign, you are a force of nature. Take advantage of that.

 

 

I’d love to hear comments about what you thought of this blog post! And if you liked anything I shared, feel free to subscribe to my blog and follow my social media. Love you all!

6 Replies to “For the Women Who Aren’t Afraid.”

  1. Abby Nielson says: Reply

    First, I enjoyed the part in your description on Facebook:
    “My first article is very “pro-women” so if you’re a misogynist I recommend you don’t read it.”
    I enjoyed the humor. I also enjoyed you sharing this specific example of taking preparations to protect yourself against possible dangers, and having someone tell you that you were incapable of protecting yourself based mainly off of your gender orientation. While I do think that there is truth in the idea that women as a group are especially identified as “prey,” and that women should take safety precautions that men often deem unnecessary for themselves, I agree that we shouldn’t be immobilized by fear. For example, you already have a lot of experience with hiking and camping, and you bought supplies. I also wouldn’t be surprised if you had taken a self-defense course. You weren’t ignorant of the risks, but also didn’t let them keep you from what you wanted to do.
    This year, my husband and I are planning on doing summer sales for the first time, and I’ve had a little pushback against the idea of me selling (because I’m a woman). If done successfully, summer sales provides a great opportunity to make WAY more money than an average summer job. If I can prepare myself against potential danger by knowing self-defense, carrying pepper spray, communicating with my team, and using good judgment on whether or not to stay on the porch to sell, then why should I not have that same opportunity to finance my education (and life)?

    1. I love this so much Abby! I was a little worried that people would be taking me for being a little reckless and ignorant to the dangers out there. I completely understand that women are the targets of so much, but I also believe that we have so much more power than most people give us credit for! But I really appreciate you recognizing that I was prepared and wouldn’t put myself in a dangerous situation if I knew I had a chance at being harmed.

      Also, in response to your summer sales comment…I say go for it! The only people I really have ever known to do it are men, but I have full faith that women can be just as successful at it! If that’s something you really want to do, I say don’t let anyone try to talk you out of it! Show those people giving you pushback that you’re very capable of being successful at summer sales, and anything you put your mind to!

  2. mindi bennett says: Reply

    Anna,
    Well said! I was in your shoes 20 years ago, astounded at how hard it was to find an outdoorsie buddy in Provo. I did plenty of solo hikes, with some memorable scares (my first time hearing an avalanche was when I was alone. Scariest sound imaginable). Learn from Aron Ralston and NEVER hike without telling someone where you are going. Keep on keeping on, I’m excited to keep up with your adventures!

    1. Anna Sofia Dahl says: Reply

      Thanks Mindi! Don’t worry. I told about 5 friends where I was going and when I was expecting to get back. If they didn’t hear back from me before nightfall they were instructed to call search and rescue :). Thanks for the wonderful support too! I love following your families adventures on Instagram!

  3. Hi, Anna!

    Great blog post! I think it’s also the fact that you don’t hear too much about males being taken advantage of and women being mistaken as the weaker sex. I love that women are breaking out of these traditionally imposed roles and are paving their own path. Keep writing and inspiring others to Adventure on!!!

    1. Thank you so much Magretha!!! This means the world to me. Honestly. I appreciate your input so much. I’ve been thinking lately about how we are seen as the weaker sex, but there’s nothing that proves we are. It’s just a bunch of stereotypes that make us believe we are frail and helpless. I hope to inspire others so they can see that they are capable of so much more than society lets them think.

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