Take an effing risk…

photoI’m not a risk taker.

I am instead a planner. I like order. Structure. I am not a big fan of ambiguity or uncertainty.

I won’t blame everything on my childhood but let’s face it…kids who grow up in chaos tend to either gravitate to crazy amounts of chaos or rigid structure. And I have done the latter a lot in my life.

But every now and then I take a risk. I do something I wouldn’t normally do. I step into space that I have not previously held.

I recommend it. It teaches you something about yourself. It reminds you of your humanity and the humanity of others. It give you an often missed glimpse into your bravery and courage…which if you are like me you KNOW you have in spades but don’t need very often as a full-fledged grown up.

So this week I took some risks…

  • Took a new job at Amazon. This may not seem like much…but my former role was in my wheelhouse (as they say…they being people who speak with annoying business lingo) and an area of expertise that I share with MAYBE a few hundred people in the world and an even smaller handful of people who are as good at it as me. (That’s not ego…that’s just fact.) The new job is just that…new. Something I have to ask a lot of questions about. An area that challenges me. And yet…here I go. Chasing something new. With a deep well of confidence that has reminded me of one of the things I know for sure…I am good at what I do.
  • Went on a silent retreat at a Buddhist Retreat center. I’m neither Buddhist nor silent. Haha! Although I’m more the former than the latter…especially after this weekend. The silence in moments was deafening. I admit I may have talked to the retreat house cats as I fed them. It seemed rude not to. And the weird ladies who whispered at me on the hiking trail…I responded to them…because apparently I’m a little freaked out by old ladies who loud-whisper at me in the woods. (Does it count as another risk that I didn’t run screaming from them when they snuck up behind me to ask if I’d eyed anything yet?)
  • Before I “checked into” the retreat I went to a dive bar on Whidbey and went dancing. Without a posse or liquid courage. Dancing is NOT something I do…or at least not without lots of booze and a buffer of friends. But I saw people on an outdoor patio dancing to a live band…so I went. And I didn’t even die of embarrassment or lack of groove. Instead I danced with people. Men asked. Women circled round. I was part of instead of apart from.
  • I took the “challenging” hiking trail. The one that the retreat house caretaker, after taking one look at me, warned me off of. The steep trail. The hard trail. The trail that I didn’t actually think I could do. But I did. Because I was alone and I went at my own pace. I didn’t worry about anyone else or being too slow. And I did it in the amount of time that was actually allotted for it by the guidebook. Because guess what? Sometimes when I take the pressure off, I do fine.
  • I told a man that he is cute because it’s what I’ve been thinking. No motive. No need. I said the words that had been on my mind for weeks. Take me. Leave me. Like me. Don’t. Whatev. I said what I wanted to say. I explained my silliness. I said the words. I took the risk. And I fully believe the words of a wise friend who said, “No bad has ever happened because a pretty girl told a guy he was cute.”

And the result you might wonder…

And recollection….I now recall again who I am. I am brave. I am fun. I am strong. I am peaceful at the core of my being because I know how to be quiet in quiet times and to speak when I must. And I remember that I am both brave and afraid in equal measure of some things…and I am unwilling to live captive to fear instead of living bravely.
I AM FREE…to take an effing risk! 😉

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