Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Risks vs. Choices

What's the riskiest thing you've ever done. How did it turn out?

I got stuck on this one. I feel like even though I've taken my share of risks during my 27 years on this earth - I feel like I haven't risked enough to have a good answer for this one. Sure, I've ended friendships and relationships, I've quit jobs, I've moved towns, I've spoken my mind and held my breath. I've even jumped out of planes and off bridges. I've befriended an enemy, I've fallen in love with the wrong person and walked away when I thought I deserved more. Even still, in retrospect, they all seem on the smaller scale. Even in hindsight, I don't even feel that they were risks, so much as choices. During those points of my life, I felt I was making choices more clearly. Not like clear as in "always making the right decision because I'm so clear headed" but free of what other people wanted, what they expected of me or general feelings of guilt. It was me, listening to the voices of my inner spirit guiding me along the path, with no kind of human interference to get in the way. 

I think when you make choices and change directions based on what you "might like to do" it isn't so much of a risk, but following the path you were meant to take. It's your way. But I also think that things become a whole lot riskier when you take into account your whole world, especially as it grows. Funny how quitting your job to travel the world is an opportunity when you're a single gal, but if you're married with kiddies all of a sudden that opportunity becomes a risk. There's more to loose. There is a risk to quitting your job when you could loose your house. Not so much of a risk when you're 21 without a home, car, kids or spouse. 

Which leads me to try to think of an occasion where I made a decision that actually involved risk. Where I could loose big. And there it was standing straight in front of me: the mister. 

When I met the mister, it was back in 2007 and I had been single for about 10 months. At the time, I had just moved into my new apartment with a friend of mine, out of my parent's place where I had been staying. It was October and an old buddy of mine stopped by to say hello and check out our new place. Since he was also living with a friend at the time, he brought him along with - and as we now know, that was the beginning of the end for me as a single woman. 

The situation was less than ideal. Having been on many first dates during that 10 months, and not very many seconds, I was convinced that love was just not in the cards for me anytime soon. Although our immediate connection swept me off my feet, I mostly just felt saddened that it wasn't meant to be. At the time, he had no idea I felt that way. He was engaged. 

Now before you get ahead of yourself, don't go thinking that my "risk" involved sneaking off to back rooms. There were no cheaters to be had here... but there were lots of really confusing emotions and some really big decisions. 

Although now isn't the time or place for the full 20/20 story, I will tell you that the riskiest thing I ever did was wait. I'm not a patient person (by any means), but something in my heart, seated deep in my soul, told me I needed to be patient. It assured me I wasn't going to miss out on anything big by waiting. I wasn't going to pass other opportunities by, by waiting.  That waiting would be good. for. me. And so I did. I waited for group opportunities to come up, I waited for invitations to friend movie nights, I invited our mutual friend to my birthday celebration (who brought the mister along with him). For the first time in my life I felt that just maybe things might work out without me trying to control the reigns. I don't particularly like talking about our 'how we met' story, because I am very much aware that my happiness did, ultimately, come along with someone else's pain. 

The first day I was officially introduced to him, I knew. I knew there was a bond there so strong. A connection that I have never experienced with anyone else, that it would be impossible for us to continue our paths without crossing again in the future. I also knew, however, that this connection, this feeling that I felt, meant that there was a possibility my heart could break in a way I've never felt. I phoned my closest friend as soon as he left the front door. It was the only time I started a conversation with "I'm in trouble." At that point in time (and still today), I felt that he was my future, and if I didn't chose my steps carefully, I would have everything to loose. 
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This month, I'm taking part in the Monthly NaBloPoMo Challenge, hosted byBlogHer. See all my March posts on Risk here. To find more blogs that are participating, please click here


  1. What a great post. Being patient is not a strong suit of mine, either - so I can only imagine how the time must've slowed down for you. What a sound (and calm) mind you must have.

    Your points on risk are also well taken. Once there are children, everything changes.

    Great to "meet" you today via NaBloPoMo! This is my post for today!

  2. Wow! What a great story on the value of patience and waiting for true love. I know you don't like talking about the story much because you are considerate of other people's pain, but it's YOUR story and you deserve to be able to tell how you met the love of your life. I also really like how you make the distinction between risk and choices.


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