“Some may say
I’m wishing my days away
And if it’s the price I pay
Tomorrow’s another day
I may as well play”
– The Police, Walking on the Moon
I’ve taken quite a few steps in the past couple of years which have felt gigantic to me, and most of them have been worth the risk which I perceived in taking them.
I sometimes think I’m too cautious, and at other times my whole life feels like a series of leaps off of cliffs with a crowd yelling – Don’t jump! – usually after I’ve already jumped.
Memory is an odd thing, and we really don’t have much else to go on when reviewing the paths we’ve taken in life. The past viewed through memory changes every time you look at it. Different things stand out.
I have made a few decisions in my distant past which other people considered to be risks and ones which I should not be taking. One in particular seemed to upset others, fill them with terror, more than it did me. And they were not shy about sharing their opinion about how foolish they thought I was being, that I was going to be very sorry.
They’re still waiting for their Schadenfreude.
It’s a price I was willing to pay.
I had already learned by then that the pain of regret was far worse when I followed other people’s advice instead of listening to my own advice for myself, which was usually – Go for it! – because it was double regret – for listening to someone else and not listening to myself, thinking they knew better than I did, making a mistake which was not my own, a mistake I would not have made had I done what I wanted to do.
I don’t mind making mistakes as long as they’re mine, they’re experiential experiments. I try not to repeat the same mistake more than is necessary to learn from it. So… I don’t listen when other people tell me how to live my life. It’s my life, they have their own they can do what they want me to do themselves in their life or not, it’s up to them just as what I do is up to me. I’m going to do whatever I’m going to do. I’ll either succeed or fail, usually a mix of both.
And tomorrow is another day.
Right now I am caught in the limbo of a Moon jump, suspended in zero gravity waiting for the boots which I’m wearing to lead me back to the surface… still debating whether spending the extra money on the boots was worth it or if I got ripped off and will end up drifting off into infinite space.
When we overcome the fear which grips us before we take a risk it is exhilarating, but at some point it wears off and we sometimes begin to doubt the wisdom of our leap of faith in ourselves.
Floating where I am now I’ve moved beyond those doubts into a different sort of mental anguish. A calmer one – I call it earthy Zen – where I’m resigned to what may come because I no longer have control over what I’ve set in motion. This is the part where I have to believe that I’ve made the right choice, and even if it’s wrong it is too late to turn back. Time does not work that way. Not yet anyway. Not for me. I’m a plough on regardless and live with the consequences of your decisions and actions… always looking for opportunities to perhaps make another decision along the way to tweak the course of life’s flow… kind of risk-taker.
The photograph I’m using to represent RISK is of my house upside down inside a drop from a melting icicle. It’s how I feel about my life right now and the risks past, present and future which I have taken and will take.
While waiting for the drop…
I may as well play.