Lately I’ve been trying to reconnect with my inner risk taker. No, not the “Danger, Will Robinson!” one (I’m glad she’s gone!). I’m referring to the me who used to take chances.
You know how it is. You’re faced with a choice — you can either play it safe and take the simply “okay” outcome, or you can go the riskier route and shoot for the potentially awesome ending.
I was more willing to take chances when I was younger, and with that courage came some great things. When I think about how fearless I was back then, well, I’m kind of amazed! I guess I always just assumed I’d land every leap of faith, but then you come up short a few times, life knocks you around, and pretty soon you don’t know if you can afford another miss. You start to play it safe — first once, and then again, and again, until pretty soon you’re playing it safe all the time.
Today I tried to think of the times I took chances in my life, and here are the nine that came to mind (in no particular order):
1. Chopping off my hair
After a bad breakup in my 20s, I traded my long, elbow-length black hair for a short, chin-length bob with red streaks. I felt like I needed a change, and the easiest place to start was on the top of my head. Sure, it’s clichÃ©, but I felt liberated afterward, even though the back of my neck was always freezing!
I always wanted to jump out of an airplane and finally went for it about 10 years ago. And I did it without telling my mom. Woman was PISSED when she found out! Now, whenever I feel afraid of something, I remind myself that I willfully hurled my body from a moving airplane thousands of feet above the ground.
3. Drama, One-Oh-One
As a kid, I was painfully shy, and then when I started high school, I decided I didn’t want to be that way anymore, so I enrolled in drama and public speaking, both of which really helped me break out of my shell.
4. Yellow nail polish
The first time I saw a bottle of yellow nail polish I thought, “Weird!” But thank goodness I went there. A good yellow polish always brightens my mood.
Essie Shorty pants, from the Neon collection
5. Starting MBB
The year was 2007… I was lonely and unhappy with my job (assistant to a literary agent), so one day I pulled up wordpress.com. At the time I never imagined I’d still be blogging three years later. When I think about it now, emotionally and creatively, blogging saved me. It helped me get to know you, and that has truly been a blessing.
6. Skinny jeans
When the ’80s drew to a close, I vowed I’d NEVER be caught dead in anything resembling the tight pegged Bongo jeans I wore as a teenager (remember the ones with the zippers and bows near the ankles?). Well, here I am now, wearing a pair of skinny jeans in front of a computer, and you know what? — I love ‘em! They keep everything squeezed into place and prevent excess jiggling, kinda like a sausage casing for the lower body.
7. Saying no to law school
I’d taken the LSAT, completed two legal internships, worked in a firm and received acceptance letters before figuring out that I didn’t want to be a lawyer. I felt like I’d basically wasted two years of my life on a dream it turned out I didn’t want. You know what they say, right? (sh*t happens)
8. Moving into a condo
As much as I like our new place now, when El Hub and I first moved late last year I was afraid I’d never like it as much as our old apartment. Here, we’re much farther from the city, from my family, and we’re totally surrounded by nature, as in giant spiders, wasps and bad allergies. Now I like it here, but it was touch and go there for a while!
Home sweet home
9. Blue liner
Back when I was a strictly brown/black eyeliner kinda gal, blue terrified me. But I’m glad I gave it a go, because I think it really makes brown eyes POPPITY-POP-POP!
Now it’s your turn, homie. Can you remember the times you took a chance on something? Tell me about some of them (the really BIG ones) in the comments.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,