A while ago, I commiserated with a friend about how fearful we both were, growing up.
Like me, the friend took years (or never attempted) to do all the “fun” kid stuff like riding a bike, swimming, watching horror movies, or going roller-skating.
I bemoan this about myself on a regular basis. Like a lot of things from childhood, it’s a big part of my self-identity.
Roller Skates by Tess Aquarium via Flicker using a Creative Commons license
But when my friend said she wasn’t a risk-taker, I almost laughed out loud.
My friend is amazing. She’s an artist who actually makes a living from her craft. She’s overcome trauma and reached out to the downtrodden. She traveled abroad and married into a new culture.
In other words, she takes risks all the time. Real risks. Heart-stopping, life-changing, whizzbanger risks.
So why should she care about rollerskating?
Can I tell you what I told her?
Let’s talk about the risks she takes that are actually worth remembering.
But then I had a big problem.
If she is a risk-taker, maybe I am too.
Am I selling my own risks short? Am I forgetting I have the chutzpah to travel abroad, or develop my passions, or parent by heart?
In other words, do I really need to care that I’m frightened of bees?
Have I held on to an identity–as a shrinking violet–that is not only out-dated, but a lie?
That’s not to say that I’m wholeheartedly pursing all the risks that I’m passionate about. I still desire to see more flexibility, bravery, and YES in my life. But why worry one minute longer about the risks, roller-skating included, that are not key to my passions?
Maybe it’s time to say “f– you” to everything else.
After that, I’ll pick up that old self-identity I’ve been moaning about for so long, and carve deep into it the real, passionate, and important risks I’m committing to now. All the risks that I want to remember.
How about you? What risks do you need to say “Forget you” to?
*With love to C-Lo Green.