I just got off the phone with my dad, who is very slowly but surely recovering from his Memorial Day Weekend motorcycle accident. The word "risk" had a central role in our conversation. When my father first bought his motorcycle, many people told him he was crazy - that the risk he was taking by getting on a bike was a foolish one. Motorcylces are dangerous. And they are unnecessary. Why chance an accident by riding one of them? To me, to my family, and to many of my father's friends, though, the risk he took in riding his bike was well-calculated and well-worth it. My father always wore a helmet. He started off on a small bike and moved up to a more powerful one after gaining lots of riding exprience. He took and passed motorcycle safety courses. He watched safety videos and learned good motorcycle driving techniques. He obeyed traffic laws. He did what he could do to minimize the risk of an accident. Those efforts, in combination with the amount of pleasure and the astoundingly positive perspective on life that riding brought to him made the risk he was taking seem reasonable to us. And, while this may sound completely insane, if once he's fully recovered my father decides that he wants to get back on his bike, I'll fully support his decision (but if he never wants to set eyes on a bike again, I'll understand, too). My point is: nothing that is worthwhile or truly fulfilling in life comes without risk. Risk of having your heart broken. Risk of being rejected. Risk of being lonely. Risk of failure. Risk of making a fool of yourself. Risk of having to go back where you started from. Risk of experiencing pain.
I mention all of this now because, not so coincidentally, the word "risk" has been playing over and over in my mind during the past few weeks. I'm on the verge of a pretty big risk myself, and I'm thrilled by what may come of it. I've been itching to tell you about it... and I promise that details will soon follow. However, I was hoping that those of you who are risk-takers (or even those of you who don't consider yourself to be risk-takers by nature but have taken a risk or two nonetheless) would be willing to share with me and the readers of my blog a particular risk that you have taken and its outcome, be it positive, negative, or both. I've been curious to know what risks you may have taken that perhaps were seen as crazy by others but seemed reasonable it to you. I'd like to know if, in hindsight, the risk really was worth it, and why or why not. Thanks in advance for sharing your stories. I'll be back soon with mine.