forget* rollerskating. And pardon my french.

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.

Because, well–

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?

F— rollerskating.

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.

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  • Kristen @ Motherese

    First of all, I have a ridiculous amount of love for that song. When I hear it, I just can’t stop singing it. (I try to stick to the G-rated version when the kids are around.) 😉

    But more importantly, I really think you’re onto something here. I routinely say that I’m not a risk-taker. But when I stop to think about the leaps I’ve taken in my life, I realize I’m selling myself short. Roller coasters? Who needs ’em. Living on my own and teaching in the inner-city? Now that’s a risk I’ve taken that means something to me.

    Great food for thought today, Heather. Thanks.

    • Heather

      Thank you, Kristen. I really appreciate that.
      I went on Pirates of the Caribbean yesterday–a ride that terrified me as a kid. And the drops that scared me back then? I still don’t like them. I can handle them, but the exhilaration everyone else feels when you slide, slide, slide? I just don’t feel it.
      More and more, that’s an interesting difference to me, not one to feel bad about.

  • Sara

    Last year (pre pregnancy and baby) I got on roller skates for the first time in my entire life and tried roller derby. That was an F-you moment :)

  • Heather

    Awesome! Did you raise a fist to Ellen Page and Drew Barrymore?
    I salute you :)