January 7, 2013

risk and adventure and love.

I've never been a risk taker in the traditional sense, not even a little bit. When people think adventurous, they think of jumping out of planes, of danger, and that's never really been my strong suit. Let's just say that I'm definitely not the person you'd call to go skydiving, or the one to go all-in and bet everything. As boring as it sounds, I prefer planning, caution, baby steps. I like to feel safe.

Recently I joked with a friend about it, laughing over how predictable I can be. "Yeah, me and my comfort zone," I said. "I guess I'll never be the adventurous type, huh?"

She was quiet for a second. "Depends on the adventure, doesn't it?

I thought about that for a long time, about adventure and bravery and courage. I thought about all the different ways you can be daring, all the different ways you can be bold. I thought about taking chances, about every time I'd chased after something without any way of knowing how it would turn out. I thought about grad school and moving back to California and choosing to be a writer. And I thought about love, the biggest, most terrifying, most rewarding risk of all.

Brave is switching careers, like Radley, or moving across the country to pursue your dream, like Sam. Brave is saying yes to the things that matter to you, gambling when it's worth it.

One of my New Year's resolutions is to do the things that scare me, and for years I thought that meant pushing my sanity to its limits, flinging myself to the edge for a meaningless risk just because.

But lately I've realized that risk doesn't mean anything unless you're striving toward something you care about. Adventures only matter when you're seeking out some kind of treasure, and not everyone has the same idea of treasure. Actually, most of us probably don't even know what we're even looking for... but I mean, the not-knowing, the figuring-out — isn't that sort of the point?

Last week I decided to get back into acting. After years of loving theatre more than anything in the world, after years of feeling most myself under the spotlight, I let it go because the professional path of an actress felt too shaky, too unsure. Ever since, though, I've sworn I'd go back, but I've always been too afraid — too afraid that I'd forgotten how, maybe, or too afraid to love it again. Yeah, that's it.

Love really is the greatest risk, isn't it? But oh man, it's so damn worth it.

(Photo: Brooklyn Alley | My Instagram)


Lauren Stewart said... [Reply to comment]

I love this! And I think you're brave for moving across the country - I don't know if I could ever do it! Good luck with acting. :)

xo Lauren

Niken said... [Reply to comment]

i love that you wrote about it. i think there are many kinds of bravery. it's even brave to love. you know. because when you love it means you risk to be hurt :)

Niken said... [Reply to comment]

i love that you wrote about it. i think there are many kinds of bravery. it's even brave to love. you know. because when you love it means you risk to be hurt :)

iamturquoise said... [Reply to comment]

i agree! I'm not a risk taker myself, sometimes my friends would talk me into doing crazy things and although it would scare me i d think if they can do it i can do it and i d feel some kind of an accomplishment in the end. but i realise its not my kind of thing:)


Lisa said... [Reply to comment]

Wow...this resonates with me so much. I think of myself as the exact opposite of daring/risk-taking/adventurous, but when I really think about it, that's with the insignificant things (like sky diving :)). When it comes to the big things, I've taken every chance in the book, and I'm proud of that. Cheers to being even more courageous in 2013!

Allie said... [Reply to comment]

I so agree with all of this. Risk is truly different in each person's eyes. I'm the type that will jump out of an airplane (and love it) but has a really hard time letting people in and pursuing that risk. I think it's just part of everyone's life but in so many different ways.

with love said... [Reply to comment]

Risk in my opinion is different in each person's eyes. For me a risk is something adventurous like telling someone that we love them or maybe a bungee jumping.

The Refeathered Roost said... [Reply to comment]

What a great post - so glad to have found you! Thanks for giving me a new way of thinking about risk, as I can be, okay am, a "stay in your comfort zone" person as well. I admire your decision to return to acting. I always tell my daughters to follow their bliss. I just feel like your doing the right thing no matter what if you are "in your zone" following your path of joy... I'm not an old hippie but sure can sound like one! Best of luck!

janinejackson said... [Reply to comment]

Have you read The Alchemist? This post kind of sorta reminds me of that book :)