Monday, January 25, 2016

My Year of Risk-Taking: Bring It On!

I am not a risk-taker by any means. I don't do roller coasters, get nervous going down escalators, am not of fan of sports in which balls get thrown close to my head, and have never rollerbladed in my life. The only area in which I take risks is in my writing. I love to go as dark and twisted as possible, because it is my characters, and not me, who are in danger, and in the last year of revising my novel with my super-sharp agent, I have learned more about writing than I ever thought possible. I have said yes to everything I fear: writing in a genre I have so much passion for but was scared to try, delving as deeply as possible into my mind, learning patience, letting go of controlling everything around me so I can achieve all that I've always wanted to.

As the clock struck midnight and it became 2016, I wondered why I can dive head-first into taking huge writing risks but not in my real life? The answer came to me quickly: I fear losing control. That drop in my stomach before the roller coaster careens down a huge decline never appealed to me. When I look at the bottom of the escalator, I imagine tripping on the moving stairs. I don't want to break my nose playing tennis so I don't. Smashing into a tree on rollerblades scares the life out of me. I admire everyone who tries new things without worrying how they'll get hurt. I watch my kids attack new things with gusto, and I realized I wanted to be like that, too.

While I'm not quite ready to play dodgeball or tackle the Leviathan at Canada's Wonderland, I am going to learn how to ski and might even try snowboarding. I am going to toboggan down a larger hill than the little lump I usually sled on. I'm tossing my to-do list once a week so I don't forget to live in the present because I've arranged my day into thirty-minute increments in the worry I will forget to get something done.

2016 is my year of risk, and all of those stomach-dropping and heart-pounding things I have avoided will hopefully show me that I cannot control every outcome and falling down is okay. I will simply pick myself up and try again.

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