Let me begin by admitting that resolutions are so not my thing. I mean really, are they anyone’s? I’m willing to bet that more than a handful of you muse over your goals on New Year’s Eve and *maybe* even write them down, only to forget a week later or absent-mindedly lose the slip of paper you etched on.
So as I watched 2015 come to a close and the clock struck nearer and nearer to 12, I didn’t even pause to reflect on the goals I had set for myself that year because, SURPRISE! I hadn’t bothered to make any.
Perhaps this is a direct correlation between my passive attitude about New Years celebrations in general, or perhaps I was just incredible lazy last year and not willing to work on myself from January to December.
However, I think this lack-of-resolutions roots itself in my particular fear of failure. While I am aware that this is hardly an original thing to be worried about, I am self-aware enough to recognize that my fear of failing has become intoxicatingly paralyzing over the last couple of years. So much, in fact, that I refuse to even ruminate on the idea that I could actively change something in my life because I have CONVINCED myself that I have already let myself down before I start. I mean, I’m really freaking good at messing things up! Frankly, I believe my aptitude to do this increases as I age, though for the sake of positive vibes I’m not about to draw up a laundry list of my failures. (You’re welcome)
The fact is, I WAS a really big goal setter. I WAS totally gung-ho about resolutions – for years, even! God, the old diaries I could dig up would be evidence enough (though thoroughly embarrassing and not at all worthy for the internet)! In my adult life, however, I have felt the need to innately shrink my world and possibilities because I am so desperately afraid that I won’t achieve even the smallest of things.
And so, in my third year of blogging for the Glendon eAmbassadors, I am FINALLY taking the #OneWord365 challenge.
Instead of writing down a laundry list of possible achievements, I am hoping to join #TeamAwesome in choosing one itty bitty word that will govern my reflections, behaviour, and self-talk as I awkwardly waddle and skip through the year.
It took me all of 6 seconds to realize that my word would be risk.
As a person who struggles with chronic health issues and mental wellness, my reaction to upsetting or unexpected events tends to be to find a safe place. A tight-knit group of friends, a non-stressful and ever-so-mundane routine, a manageable workload. These things have been essential over the last few years in managing my health…
And yet I look in the mirror these days and feel a sense of mourning for the high-spirited, top-energy, wild thing I used to be. The girl who worked 2 jobs so she could save up for a plane ticket and then disappear for a while. The girl who was involved in every charitable endeavour, who jumped onstage at any chance, who fiercely let her peers forward.
I have been struggling with the idea that I have simply lost this girl. That my more hesitant and timid nature is maybe just the by-product of getting older. That maybe that girl is just “too much of a lot of things” to exist in my world now.
Then I found myself playing cards.
I was sitting across from my boyfriend as we played euchre against my parents, and found myself calling the shots even when I had the crappiest of hands. When the cards looked dim, I was taking chances and still coming out on top.
Now, a statistical analyst would probably say I had dumb luck and that in all cases, my choices weren’t the most informed or probable.
But I say that I’ve gotta be gutsy to reap the rewards.
I realized need to take more risks in my life, because that curiosity and gutsiness is at the very core of my being. I might be terrified of it sometimes, but that girl from long ago still adores going out on a limb and proving the doubters wrong.
That spitfire girl has GOT to still be in there, because she has set up a year worth of risks for me, starting with the fact that I’m moving to another country in 2 weeks. New language, new friends, new food, new living arrangements. New life!
I know that before I even cross the ocean, I’m taking risks every day in preparation for my life abroad. I’m navigating changing relationships day by day. I’m attempting to set up the necessities of life so I can walk off a plane and really start LIVING. Hell, I’m even ordering from Amazon when I’m not sure the items will arrive in time!
Every day, I have a choice to create an adventurous life. To take chances and opportunities as they come. To pick the safest route or the road less travelled.
I know I’ll have even more opportunity to do so once I’m set up in a place that is (at first) unstable and unknown. I expect the adrenaline to be pumping through my veins for an extended period of time…
WITH THAT BEING SAID. I am hoping to document all of my risk-taking wildness with a video blog as I prepare to leave my safe space behind and venture into the great unknown. Be on the lookout for audio-video versions of my babble!
All in all, I think I know that I have spent too long being comfortable – wish me luck in my attempts to shake things up and roll the dice in my life!
Lots of love, risk, and good wishes for 2016!