What to do! What to do! Are you a risk taker? Willing to throw caution to the wind. Chance it? Cast your fears aside? Take a leap of faith? I only ask because ‘risk’ was the subject of yesterday’s WordPress Daily Prompt. “What’s the biggest risk you’d like to take — but haven’t been able to? What would have to happen to make you comfortable taking it?”
Not really an easy question to answer. There’s all kinds of risks. Risks you take in your personal life. Like finally getting over your fear of commitment and getting married. Risks you take in your professional life. Like walking away from a big promotion to go back to school to follow your heart and study medicine.
There are the ‘adventurous’ risks you take. Like deciding to bungee jump. There are the moral dilemmas we all face from time to time, and the risks they involve. Like telling your best friend you saw her husband with another woman.
BIG decisions can give us pause as well. Buying our first house can be a very scary decision to have to make. So can re-locating to a new city. Getting a divorce. Having a baby. Most of us agonize before deciding. And some of us never decide at all. We just keep putting it off.
Then there are the little things we worry about. Like whether or not we should overcome our fear of raw fish, and give sushi a try. Or learn to drive. Or go on a blind date.
So what about me?
Well, I remember when I bought my first house. I’d saved my money. Knew it was time. Found an agent. Never hesitated for a minute. Fell in love with the second house he showed me. Told him I wanted to make an offer. Never hesitated for a minute. We went to his office so he could do the paperwork. Never hesitated for a minute.
The vendor signed back the offer. The house was mine.
And that’s when panic set in. He and I were having a celebratory burger and all of a sudden he started to laugh. He said I had a look of absolute terror on my face. He said he was surprised it took so long. That most first-time buyers freeze when they have to sign the offer sheet.
When I moved to Toronto I never hesitated for a moment either. Made up my mind and that was that.
But I have had my moments when fear got the best of me. When the risks, or perceived risks, stopped me dead in my tracks. Many, many years ago I had a job that was giving me the blahs. I wasn’t challenged enough. I was bored. A friend suggested I go out on my own, try freelance work. I looked at her like she was insane.
“What!”, I exclaimed. “Give up a steady pay check? Are you nuts? I have a mortgage to pay. I can’t take a risk like that!” I wouldn’t even think about it. The mere thought gave me the chills. The heebie jeebies.
Yet four years ago I woke up one morning and thought, “I want to go out on my own. I want to freelance.” Which I did. And I love it. Never thought about the risks, even for a minute.
Timing is everything. When you’re ready, you’re ready; and the decisions come easy. Of course, for some things, you’ll never be ready. I can’t conceive of a time when I’d ever be willing to go wrestle with alligators. Or jump out of a plane. Or book a seat on Richard Branson’s flight to the moon.
Yeah, I know. You’d like to know what I WOULD like to do, but as of yet, I haven’t been willing to take the risk. Make that giant leap into the unknown. Well … let me see.
It feels like I’ve taken the biggest risks I’ll ever take, already. I’ve moved away from the city I was brought up in and left friends and family behind. I’ve bought a house, several, in fact. I’ve left secure jobs for other, riskier ventures, I’ve travelled great distances to far away places, I’ve overcome my fear of public speaking by forcing myself to do a lot of it. I’ve eaten things that have made me squeamish (although there are many things I still refuse to try). So what’s left?
All I can think of, at the moment, is my desire for a life adventure. You know all about it, of course, because I’ve blogged about it several times. When you consider everything I’ve already done, I can’t figure out what’s stopping me. But clearly, something is. Clearly I’m afraid of something. Then again, maybe I don’t really want to go.
As soon as I figure out what it is, I’ll let you know.
Sometimes dreams aren’t meant to be accomplished or they wouldn’t be dreams. I once asked a friend who was very into his hobby why he didn’t quit his job and do it full time. He said then it wouldn’t be a hobby. It would be work that we would HAVE to do rather than something he loves to do. Since I always think you should love what you do I didn’t quite follow his rationale but I do have dreams that I know I won’t do…like living on a tropical island. Sigh!
But maybe you COULD live on a tropical island. So many people do retire to tropical islands. And not just the wealthy.
I don’t think you can ever gain anything, if you aren’t brave. I’d never have had half the experiences I’ve been lucky enough to have, if I hadn’t taken risks. I certainly wouldn’t be living in London. I’m a great advocator for it. However, I agree that its when you’re ready. Like setting up a business – I know someone who’s designing his own company, but he works a full time job and does the excess work, such as market research, designs and proposals in his own time – waiting until he’s in a position where he’s ready to take the plunge. I respect that.
And there can be a fine line between risk taking and stupidity. But then, what would life be if we didn’t all have our stupid moments 😉
I agree completely. As for stupid moments, they teach us some of life’s most important lessons.
ok firstly – the pic!!!!! ewwwwww you know my thoughts on that!!!
So weird you talking about risk taking – I am toying with the idea of going to Kenya – so many people have said I am crazy to do it – health risks etc – I am adventurous as you know ( not when it comes to the rodents of the world) but yes travel to exotic places etc .
So if you want to live on the edge and be a risk taker – what about Kenya?
Seriously – let me know if you are interested – I can give you the info
So sorry about the pix :). How could I ever forget. If you want to go to Kenya and you are going with a reputable tour company and they say it is OK for you to go, then go. Don’t listen to naysayers. Remember our trip to India. Thise girls wanted to cancel because of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. We went, we were safe and had a great trip.
Speaking of which, I got an email from Rashmi last night. Her husband died on the 14th of June. She’s pretty devastated. His health was bad. He had a very bad heart condition and had a leg amputated last year as well. But we are never prepared, even when we ought to be. I feel bad for her.
Kenya. I would love to go, but can’t this year. Wish I could. I would for sure.
Oh no!!! that is awful! so sad for her – I should call her – I never kept in touch with her! That is horrible!
Yeah I am definitely a risk taker with some things – the weird thing is I had a dream the other night and someone in the dream said “don’t go to Kenya!” that freaked me out a little.
Yes I must make a decision – my problem is – I hate to commit so long in advance!!
That’s another topic for you to discuss COMMITMENT – !!!
Yes, that WOULD be a good topic. All I can say is, listen to that little voice inside your head. NOT to anyone else. If you take out trip cancellation insurance how much $ would you lose if you don’t go in the end?
well if I cancel – I lose the $1000 deposit no matter what – my voice inside is not very clear – mixed messages!! I have a little more time to think about it -will see.
I would like to write to Rashmi – I do not have her email anymore – would you mind giving it to me – thanks I will tell Rosemary about it too!
Of course. The email she used last night is: firstname.lastname@example.org. I guess that’s the best one to use. I did last night when I responded to her email. Well, $1000 isn’t peanuts so I guess you do need to think about it a bit more. If it’s safey you’re concerned about check those lists the Canadian government puts out. If it’s not on there, it should be ok. As for health issues, people say the same about India. We were both fine.
yeah true!!! thanks I will email her!!
Good. Poor Rashmi.
Great post! I have to agree with you on one point from my stand point…I’ve never really realized that I was taking a “risk” I just did what I had to do when the moment presented itself, later maybe I saw there had been risks…great post thanks! 🙂
Yes, I understand that. I think rhat’s what happened to me when I boughty first house. It was only later, when the reality of how much debt I’d signed up for hit me, did I realize I’d taken a pretty big risk. Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.
😉 hit pretty close to home…and well written too, it was my pleasure!
ThNk you 🙂
This is my first visit to your blog via The Daily Post. Now I am curious what this life adventure is all about that your regular readers are well aware of. I enjoy how you left me with this cliff hanger and now on for the search.
Thanks Catherine, and welcome. Hope you keep coming back for more … 🙂