Monday, June 24, 2013

Risky Business

I often find myself thinking about random things. Earlier today I was thinking about how my stomach started feeling bad and I couldn't finish my sushi, and how it will really stink to throw it away; and then I thought how it would be funny if someone tried to return their leftover sushi to the store; and then I remembered how I worked at a shoe store six years ago and someone tried to return a pair of used shoes that had the wheel in the heel of them; and then I remembered how popular those shoes were and that I never see them anymore. What were they called? Heelies? Hang on a sec...nope. Just Googled it. Heelys, they were called. And I only remembered they existed because my stomach felt bad and I couldn't finish my sushi.

I tend to do that a lot. One thought leads to another leads to another, and then a light bulb goes off in my head, and I exclaim, "Blog post idea!!!" Okay, maybe I don't exclaim it, but whatever.

Today I got to thinking about risk.
No, not that one.

I realized that every tiny thing we do in life involves taking some kind of risk. Do I get out of bed and face the day and the unknowns it will bring, or do I just lie here wasting away until someone comes in and feeds me? Do I leave the house and face the dangers of car accidents and armed robberies, or do I stay home and wait for the roof to cave in on me?

I think that most of us will choose to step out into the world each day as opposed to hiding under the blankets. Yet even those of us who step outside can fear taking additional risks. Say you've been offered a job in a different state. It pays better than your current job, but you're hesitant to move because everyone you know and love is here. You don't want to risk losing touch with them, and you're not even sure you'll like living in another state. What if they have funny accents? What if they don't have Gold Star Chili and goetta? What if the weather stinks and the new house gets buried in a mudslide? What if what if what if?

About five years ago I hit rock bottom hard. I was depressed, on medication, and seeing a counselor. I was plagued by the what-ifs and it was literally making me lose my mind. I felt like the whole world was crashing down around me and I was going to die. I've tried to block most of these memories, and that's okay. They weren't very fun, anyway. But one thing I do recall from those dark days was someone (my mother, maybe?) telling me to turn the what-ifs on their heads. What if I'm happy? What if Decision X is the best decision of my life?

What if this whole fiasco has happened for a reason?

(It has.)

Anyway, let's go back to the previous example. You're afraid to take up that job offer. Right? Well, what if it ends up being the most enjoyable job you've ever had? What if you make some really amazing friends in that new state? What if you fall in love? What if the weather is perfect? What if? What if? What if?

It's okay to be a little afraid because fear breeds caution and caution aids in survival. But when your fear inhibits you from taking the initiative to move forward--not just with a job offer, but for anything--take a step back. Breathe in. Let it out. Open your eyes. What if everything is going to be fine? What if this decision makes you happy? What if this is what God is telling you to do?

Do you do it?

"The risk of a wrong decision is preferable to the terror of indecision." --Maimonides


  1. What if this is the best blog post ever written?

    What if I'm in awe?

    What if I'm so impressed?

    1. What if the author said thank you for the lovely comment? :)