Aleks Karjaka  took this photo in Chicago.

Aleks Karjaka took this photo in Chicago.

My whole name is Alexander Mark Goodin. Mark after my Dad. When I was young I first wanted to be a soccer player, then a skateboarder, then an artist, and then a musician.

In many ways, my story starts with fear. When I graduated with my bachelor’s degree in music, I had oodles of it. The obvious ones, mostly: fear about money, fear of the unknown, fear of failure. But my worst fear was of being unimportant, of not mattering, of not being able to make a meaningful difference.

For the next five years, I ran from my fear - down different career tracks, into exciting projects and courses, through emails and social media posts. Anything to fill my mind, so that I didn’t have to pause and feel the hot throbbing in my stomach.

Today I’m here though. A new place. I’ve stopped.

Now I’m trying to feel my fear. To quiet and let it wash over me. I no longer want to ignore or eradicate my fear, but rather to embrace it as part of my journey and move forward with faith and gratitude. Let’s go - it’s a new morning on the trail.

. . .