Sunday, December 17, 2006

Risky Business

About a month ago, I made a total guilty-pleasure purchase and bought Margaret Mason’s No One Cares What You Had for Lunch: 100 Ideas for Your Blog. It’s a very fun read, and gets me thinking (as it’s meant to do). Some of the suggestions would be tough for me, logistically speaking, but many of them have at least bits that I could adapt for my blog. I like reading through and taking notes on ideas I get as I read. But then I got to this one, number 51:

You can live your whole life following the path of least resistance. No risks, no unknowns, no discomfort. And goodness knows that we all dream of a tombstone that reads, “I was comfortable.”

Tell us about the biggest risk you could take in your life right now. It doesn’t have to be cliff-diving dramatic. Perhaps it would be easier to jump out of a plane than to go after your dream job. Or maybe something that seems simple to other people is terrifying to you. What would you risk if you had the nerve?

I thought long and hard about this one. I feel like it's a question I should be able to answer. I feel like I’m at a point in my life where the possibilities are endless, and so there should be a number of things I *could* do, and maybe even *want* to do, but for which I just can’t work up the nerve.

But the more I thought of those things, the more I realized that most of them involved running away. Moving somewhere totally new and different, like London, or the East Coast, for example. Starting a new life without any help from anyone. Proving that I could make it on my own. And then I realized that running away wasn’t a risk at all – it was a safety.

Maybe I’m taking the biggest risk by staying where I am.

Maybe for me, right now, it’s scary enough just making myself get out of bed in the morning. Maybe for me, right now, it’s scary enough just going to see my therapist and admitting that I need help. Maybe for me, right now, it’s scary enough just facing people every day and showing my vulnerability. Maybe that’s my “something that seems simple to other people,” and maybe that’s enough to take on for now.

I was comfortable. And if I’d been smarter, I probably could have stayed comfortable. But comfortable is different than happy, and maybe I shouldn’t have made ‘comfortable’ the goal at all. So that’s my risk – to make a change, right where I am, in my mindset, instead of my circumstances.

Maybe we all need to take a risk sometimes. Sometimes, taking that risk may be our only chance at peace.


Day 17 of LaBloShoeMo: The Black Sneakers

Look, more sneakers! These shoes are soooo comfortable – seriously. Which is why I wear them so often, even with pinstripe slacks that really ought to be worn with fancier shoes. The fact that they’re black makes them a bit more subtle, which means I can mostly get away with the style incongruity. Mostly.


tpiglette said...

I'm proud of all the risks you've been taking, and all the hard decisions you've been making. I'm glad you're still here. :)

Lara said...

thanks, piggy! i'm glad you're here with me. :)