Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Rewards of Risk

Is risk rewarding? Well, consider moments and events you are proud of in your life. Or those times that shaped your character. Risk, I'm betting, was heavily involved. Today is January 1, 2013. What do you want to change this year? What do you need to risk to do it? I'm guessing there is something. Perhaps you'd like to spend your time more wisely. Or start something important, even though you're afraid you might not finish it.

One thing I've learned from observing others, past and present, is you become who you want to be by DOING it. Film-makers make films, even if it is running around your neighborhood making a documentary of the sad state of lawn maintenance in the 21st century. Eventually you might be Peter Jackson filming The Hobbit. The great musicians, dancers, poets, chefs, and architects sang, danced, wrote, cooked, and designed until they were tired, frustrated, worn-out. I'd like to be a writer, but I'm often afraid to write. I may read it back and it will sound trite, or ridiculous, even grammatically riddled with errors. Bah! I can't be a writer. Foolish thought. Besides, my bookshelf is jammed with wonderful writers! Who needs another one on God's green earth!
..............This, my friends, is what I tell myself. So can you relate? Well, even if I'm not meant to be a writer, if I don't risk it then I won't know. I won't be able to move on from there. See what I mean? Like stepping-stones across a stream. There's a bit of a free-fall over the water while leaping to the next rock, but it's the only way to get there. A moment, climbing the mountain, when you are suspended over the face of the cliff and eternity, but it's bloody uncomfortable just hanging on to where you are all the time.

Risk is not ONLY for the young, though it is for the young, too. When I was younger I had fire in my veins. I did everything, anything, didn't worry about it. If only one could combine the confidence of youth with the experience of years! Instead it seems the experience of years holds back the horses at the gate and even locks them in the barn now and then, tossing and charging until the spirit is broken. It's a sad day, when you unlock the door of your dreams and find they have no life left in them.

So. As a challenge to myself for this fresh new year, if I want to do something, I'll DO it, not just think about it. If I hope to be something, I'll BE it. Perhaps badly, maybe not as well as I'd hoped, but better than hanging on for dear life to the top of the fence. Whatever happens, let's keep fighting. So often I've wanted to give up and let the world go on without me. Not dying but dying inside, a passive face that smiles and hides and feels nothing. This year I've been too close to that abyss, and I want to struggle away from it, and carry on with a dream or two in hand.

Keep going friends, risk is worth it in the end.

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