Learning To Be A Risk-Taker
Posted by Tabitha Yeasley
“The day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” - Anais Nin
Even before I graduated college, I always had a job (or several). I had my own reliable income. I always thought that having a 9 to 5 working for someone else is just what you do in the “real” world. And I never ever thought that not having a steady monthly paycheck to count on was an option.
But then I met Michael. He often refers to himself as a “life ruiner”, because he tends to change the way people approach their lives. Not in a bad way, though, at all. So maybe “ruiner” is the wrong term. “Life changer” is much better suited if you ask me.
Together we decided to travel Europe, and quitting my job for that excursion was the longest I went without a stable paycheck since I was a teenager. I took a risk, and had no idea how long it would be until I would get a job once we finally got back. We traveled for four months and I ended up coming home with a start date set for a new job. Well, that was a risk that worked out perfectly.
But it’s not always like that, is it? Risks don’t always work out. That’s why it’s called a risk. So how do you force yourself to take one, a big one, when you’re not naturally a risk-taker?
I have played it safe since I was a kid. I came home from school and did my homework first. I couldn’t chance that not getting done. I started projects well in advance. I didn’t ride a bike without training wheels until I was nine years old. Because there was no guarantee I wouldn’t fall. I’ve always been cautiously adventurous. And because of this one little fact about myself, I might like climbing up walls with the security of a rope and a harness (even this is still thrillingly terrifying to me at times), but I will never be the person to free solo a route I could do with my eyes closed, ever. Because what if I fall?
And before I met Michael, I dated guys that were an impossible fit for me. I even tried to resist his charm at first. Because what if I really fall? And maybe love is a different kind of risk, but it’s a risk none the less. And It’s the one that taught me that risks are sometimes worth it, after all.
So maybe I’ll never dive head first into uncharted waters on my own, or go base jumping off cliffs. Maybe I just have to take calculated risks, instead of blindly leaping off the edge. And my careful self is perfectly okay with calculated. That’s just who I am.
And according to those calculations, it was time to do what I want to do and not what other people want me to do. It was time to stop wishing and start doing. I’ve always had this fear of getting older without getting closer to doing what I really want to do with my life. Maybe that fear just became greater than the risk - the risk it took to bloom.
It took a while to get here, but here I am now smack dab in the middle of this new risk. I’ve left my full time job for the type of project based work that is production, whether it’s film or events. I’m choosing the freelance world. It’s the lifestyle I want for myself at this stage in my life, for some odd reason. And what’s more important than wanting it: I’m ready. It may have been calculated. I may have a plan B in place if this fails (sorta). But showing up is half the battle, right? You never know until you try? And I am. I will. It’s time to silence those “what if’s” because I’m here.
Boldly, ready to put in the work. Sink or swim and all that.