9 Things: Times You Took a Chance

Published in: Just For Fun

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 cliché, but I felt liberated afterward, even though the back of my neck was always freezing!

2. Skydiving

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.


Old school!

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,

Karen

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  1. Purple says:

    Moving to Norway is the biggest chance I took. I was born and in Malaysia. I studied in Australia for two years and then had to go back post graduating. I was so confused on how to live with my parents again after having lived on my own. It just felt odd and constraining. I also didn’t want to work in Malaysia as I felt working abroad when you’re young is way better to gain exposure. Suddenly I got an email from a quirky software company in Norway wanting to interview me. It was a job I had applied for on a whim months ago. Next thing I knew, I was moving to Norway. It’s been 3 years and I’m now on to my second job. No regrets. Can’t believe I had the guts to do it. Also met my awesome boyfriend here, so I can’t complain :)

  2. Caitlin says:

    I’ve done the post-break-up hair change. The afternoon I finalized it I got my hair highlighted and cut and it just felt like turning over a new leaf. Moving to Colorado to go to University here was a pretty big deal, considering I grew up as such a homebody back in the Bay. But I think it has done wonders not only for my maturity, but I understand what it feels like to be a grown-up living on your own. I’m more outgoing and yet I feel much more in control. It’s hard some times, but it’s been great for me. But here’s my biggest risk: One of my girlfriends from college lives in LA now and she moved in with one of her best childhood friends, a guy named Ian. She introduced us briefly last August at a party and we talked for months and months on the phone. In January I went to visit her and he and I went out on our first date – it was the second time we had ever met, but we had grown on such an emotional level that it felt like the most natural thing. We’ve been dating ever since :)

  3. suki says:

    well i consider them to be big, first of all, since my school days, teachers thought I was stupid and that I would never get a place at this grammar school in my town, they even held me back one year, and still told my father it was impossible, one teacher told me infront of my class that I am too stupid to get into that school, however I proved her wrong even though they be hating on me!!! But at this school, i experienced something similar :( with teachers telling me that I will fail exams, and I really though there is no point going to university and I was planning on just working at a call centre…but after my results came through (which were amazing!! I got 94% on the exam i was ‘supposed’ to fail) I chose a uni, although it wasn’t my first choice…i’m glad I went!

    second, If there is a guy i really really like I do tell them. First time i asked a guy out was at school, he was the only one who didn’t bully me, and it helped thatall my friends told me he liked me >_> although he didn’t and it was awkwaard after i am glad i did it! There is also a guy at work, who I really like, and I kinda knew he didn’t feel the same, otherwise something would have happened by now, but yesterday I told him I liked him, and it was ok if he didn’t feel the same, but I just wanted to let him know, I think it will give me a bit of closure so I can get over him now.

    third, I guess my current job was me taking a chance, i was stuck at a clothes store where my supervisor was a complete poo, and then i saw a counter was hiring, and i just gave my cv, and after a few weeks i gave up hope but i had a call, and a phone interview right there and then, and i remember i was so hyper on the phone and just said any old nonsense!! But i got through to the next round..I am a shy person, and the next round was pretty demanding. I spoke to the manager of the counter and she told me the interviewee doesnt like shy people, so on the day I put past my reservations and was super perky! I didnt think I got the job..but i got called that night and was offered a job! Working with makeup has always been my dream :)

    thank you for reading this!! I feel all emotional now!! xxx

  4. Salvinia says:

    I did the post break-up hair chop too (who hasn’t, amirite?). I went from elbow length to a pixie cut, and everyone I knew loved it! I’ve done risky (AKA stupid things) many, many times in the past, like moving in with a guy I only knew for two months, but the riskies and most awesome thing I’ve ever done is taking a chance on a relationship with a guy I met online, who lived in Australia! It was tough going for parts of our relationship, but now I live with him in Australia and we’re engaged!

  5. Josette says:

    Hmm, the riskiest thing I’ve done is go to school outside of the United States. Leaving my family and friends behind and learning how to live alone was a huge wakeup call. Having to maintain and house and studies was no picnic, but it was a learning experience I am truly grateful for. By the way, I love the skinny jeans you are wearing in the pic! What brand are they? I definitely need to pick up a pair!

  6. Marina says:

    Great post, Karen!
    I agree about yellow nail polish and blue liner. And I also agree about the blog. I’ve started mine 1.5 years ago (but I wanted to do it much earlier) when I was very sick and had to stay at home most of the time and obviously I was feeling sad and lonely. But now I am fine and am very happy that I have a blog now. The best thing about it is that I met so many wonderful people :)
    .-= Marina’s last blog post… Love it : Guerlain Champs-Elysees Video =-.

  7. Amy says:

    Very inspiring stories ladies.
    I don’t feel I have anything as big to share, however I believe everday you make small decisions that culminate in the once a lifetime big decisions. Maybe I just haven’t made mine yet.

  8. Amy says:

    Very inspiring stories ladies.
    I don’t feel I have anything as big to share, however I believe that everyday we all make small decisions that culminate in the once a lifetime big decisions. Maybe I just haven’t made mine yet.

  9. Catherine says:

    I really enjoyed reading this, Karen. :D

    My biggest risk so far was probably moving 2000 miles away to college and I don’t regret it one bit! :D Another big risk was sneaking out the third story window of my Taiwan language program dorm to go clubbing downtown at 1am … but that’s a story for a different time LOL. :D
    .-= Catherine’s last blog post… MAC To The Beach Marine Life High-Light Powder pt. 1 =-.

  10. Chess says:

    Awwww, Karen, I love when you do posts like this. My current self-mantra is all about being brave, too, so this post came just at the right time for me! I’ve been listening to Florence and the Machine’s “Rabbit Heart” a lot, and whenever she sings “I must become the lion-hearted girl,” I remind myself to be brave.

    Lately, my taking a chance has been befriending this cool girl in my English class. We always said hi in class and chatted a bit, and I thought she was awesome, but things never went any further than that, so I finally got up the nerve to ask her if she wanted to see a movie. I know it seems small, but I don’t make friends THAT easily, so it’s a big deal for me to be brave and make the first move without feeling like an idiot. Anyway, we went to a movie last week and had SUCH a good time and I’m pretty sure we’re on our way to being good friends now, which feels great, so I’m really proud of myself for that. :D

    I hear you on the yellow polish, too! I got myself a bottle of OPI’s “The It Color” when it first came out and it took me months to find the nerve to rock it, but I FINALLY did and now it’s my very favourite nail colour, even in spite of all the interesting comments it garners, hahaha.

    Oh, and you rock those skinny jeans like nobody’s business, girlfriend!

  11. Samara says:

    I didn’t have a hair cut after the worse breakup of my life. Instead, after a few months feeling very down I decided a trip would be the best thing to do, very far away from everyone and so I went to Toronto, all by myself, first trip abroad to study english for 3 months. Of course it was the best 3 months of my life and it changed EVERYTHING, right after I went back I enrolled in University, went back to Toronto one more time 2 years later to another school, back to Brazil, Masters and then I met my actual husband, ONLINE. I left everything behind, moved to a country that I had never been before (U.S.) and here I am 5 and a half years later and it was the BEST decision of my life :)

    By the way, very nice post and maybe one day I will be brave enough to cut the hair and just so you know now I am very curious about the blue eyeliner.

  12. Nina says:

    Hey Karen – what a journey its been, huh? :)

    What are my 9 things?

    1 – Moving to the US. I left a great job, a lot of my family and the culture ive grown up with. No regrets though, because ive learned so much more here – how to do things on my own, who I really am, and of course meeting the Hubs.

    2 – Body Image – I cut off my waist length hair in 2006. I had short hair for a year and a half. It was liberating and just so easy! In the end though, I realized I am a long-ish hair girl at heart. I started working out in 2002 and havent stopped since then. Ive always been a chubby kid, and gained a lot of weight after my mom passed away (grief eating) and it felt beyond awesome to meet my inner fit girl! :)

    3 – The Hubs – I was kinda sure I would spend the rest of my life alone (lol im not that old but I dont really go out and was always hanging around my much older sister and her friends). I was happy being alone but when I met him, I discovered I would be much, much happier being with him. Oh I resisted that relationship for a very long time, until I caved and and picked happiness and a fur family.

    4 – Grad School – I was an underachiever all thru grade school, high school and college. The one that the teachers always say would do much better if I applied myself more, but didnt. I had fun all thru school though and didnt regret that. One year into my first job, I felt that I needed to learn more and so I applied to get into a pretty good grad school back home. I got in, got a scholarship and finished with honors – and I finally felt that I had paid my family back for my underachieving college years.

    5 – Makeup – I got into make up seriously last year. Ive always been the powder + blush + eyeliner + brows type of girl. Ive always also thought I had no artistic skill at all – cant paint, cant draw. I was browsing a magazine website one time and somehow ended up in one beauty blog and thats where it all started. At first, people (fam and co workers) were shocked at my rather colorful (and unskilled!) new looks but I got better in time. Now ive learned to be made up and yet not so made up as well. Friends have asked me to paint their faces for them – thats an awesome feeling for an unartistic person like me!

    Ive gone on and on …. but thanks! It feels good to remember stuff ive actually taken a chance on – makes me feel less like a boring fuddy-duddy!

    Oh and its Thursday … ;)

  13. Kim says:

    I’ll have to say having kids. Which might not sound risky unless you’re like me and terrified that you’ll be a horrible parent since you’ve never really gushed over children. We knew that sometimes it takes people a long time to actually get pregnant so I was completely unprepared and stunned when it took us about 6 seconds. :) Then I found out it was twins. So I decided not to throw myself off a bridge in panic and to roll with it instead. I’m kidding about the bridge but I was pretty hysterical. Anyway, I can’t imagine anything paying off better than that risk. Now, with two awesome 7 year old boys, it’s not really possible to consider what my life would be like without them. :) Oh, and now that I’ve experienced the joy firsthand, I’ve become one of those people who genuinely gush over everyone’s kids.

  14. Lexi says:

    I totally agree on blue liner – it makes any eye color poppity-pop in my opinion. So much so that I was shocked that MAC Meet the Fleet looks amazing on my green peepers- the green-yellowyness rivals le Tab :)

  15. Sarah says:

    This is a perfect post!

    My first would definitely be attending a semster long program at another university. It eventually led to me transferring permanently which was another leap. My second is that once I got there I decided to speak in all my classes, at least once a class. Its worked perfectly and now I’m SO much more outgoing! (So I can definitely sympathize with you joining the drama club!

  16. Scientific Housewife says:

    1. Skinny Jeans – I was afraid skinny legs + skinny jeans = disaster. Doesn’t look bad, just can’t wear flats (size 10 feet).
    2. Getting my hair cut short – I’ve always loved short do’s on other people so I tried it… It’s not my best hair.
    3. Airbrush tan – Best idea ever, looks so natural and it’s so easy to get done. I just wish it came off more even.
    4. Participating in a pageant – I hoped my height and personality would help me, ended up on the court and doing great stuff for a year.
    5. Riding Space Mountain – I don’t do roller coasters, I have horrible motion sickness and I’m not adventurous at all. Once I tried it, I realized it wasn’t so bad. Still makes me stomach jump though.
    6. Buying a house – Even though it was the perfect time in the economy to buy a house (first time home buyer credit, house prices down, lots of houses on the market), it was still a chance to pick the location and lock ourselves into a house for years. Great decision by us.
    7. Leaving my sorority – I was in for two years but my grades were suffering and they were starting to control me, so I left. My life has been better because of it.
    8. Saying goodbye to friends – Maybe it was loss of contact or disagreements, but I’ve lost many friends over the years and even though it hurts sometimes, I probably wouldn’t have the ones I have now that make my life better.
    9. Starting a blog – I didn’t think anyone would care about what I would have to say, but 148 followers later and I have a hobby that I love and blog friends that are great :)

  17. Linda says:

    The biggest risk I took led me to meeting my dream man. I met him randomly on a forum and added him to MSN messenger, I don’t know why. We barely chatted over several years, just small talk. When I got out of a messy relationship, he was online and I asked him to resize my new (single) photo for my profile. He was surprised that the photo was actually me, and said I was very pretty. We ended up talking more, and I decided to fly to his country on a blind date to go see him over spring break. Turns out he wasn’t an axe murderer or a weirdo, but a really sweet and funny guy. I married him a year later, and have been his wife for four years now. :)

  18. Neela says:

    I’m not sure I have 9 things.

    I had long hair when I was young. My mother never let me had long hair until I was about 6. My best friends had such long hair, I wanted it too. I kept this long hair until I was about 25. Slowly went shorter and shorter and shorter. I love my short hair now. I look SO much better.

    Quitting my cake decorating job and going to school for Medical Assisting. Graduated with As and Bs, passed my certified test on the first attempt. I don’t work as a MA now, but it helped me get my current job.

    Losing my boyfriend (it wasn’t that long of a relationship, but it still affected me deeply), my job (only had it for 3 months, but the administrative refused to deal with my mentally and emotionally abusive coworker, and they wanted me to do illegal things) and 2 of my cats (Tipper, who was a lovely 3 legged special needs cat, and Neela, my baby who I adopted when I was 12) in about a span of 2 months.

    So when I was offered an apartment about 2 hours away to work as the assistant manager of a clothing retail store, I took it. It was a massive change for me, and the experience wasn’t perfect (not even close), it was worth it.

    Meeting a boy I had not much interest in when I talked to him online. He refused to leave me alone until I met him. I gave him a chance and needless to say we’re still together.

    1.5 months later (after getting in multiple fights with my boss, the owner of said clothing retail store, it’s a tl;dr story), I moved out of that apartment and in with my boyfriend of a little over a month. My parents were Not Happy. They wanted me to move back home.

    Probably more.. but those are the most notable in the past few years.

    • Karen says:

      I am so sorry about the loss of your kitties. When I think of Tabs “going to the rainbow bridge” my heart starts hurting. Our cats love us unconditionally through everything…

  19. Tiffany says:

    The biggest risk I took was starting a blog. I got so inspired by reading yours plus I’ve always wanted to blog. So I did it! I am so happy and feel like I now have a creative outlet as well as a hobby.

  20. Ster says:

    Great post Karen!! My first big chance was a love at first sight. I was in the metro and I saw a lovely boy… I thought: He must be mine!! And so it was.. after 8 years we are still together, and every time I look at him I still feel what I felt that day in the metro.

    The second big chance was winning a really prestigious scholarship of the Dutch government that gave me the chance to study in the Netherlands. Three years ago I left my country (Italy) and moved here in Amsterdam with my beloved. Such a challenge!! New country, new culture (it’s so different here), new language, far from my city, my family, my friends. I’ve learned a lot, and now very little things scare me. I see everything with other eyes, and now I know that I can manage very difficult and annoying situations. In a couple of months I’ll be back in Italy with an extraordinary experience as “hand baggage” :D.

    Regarding makeup my last big jump has been painting my nails!! I’ve always made my face up carefully, but my nails without any reason are always been “natural”. I’m in the nailpolish world since a month and i already have 20 nail polishes in crazy colours!!

    In the ancient Rome they said “Carpe diem” that means take your moment… they were right!

  21. Suji says:

    Skinny jeans as a sausage casing? Oh Karen you made me LOL! <3

    I realized that I haven't taken any risks lately… maybe that's why I've been feeling somewhat empty and bored in life. However, the last big risk I took was getting engaged! I had a lot of anxiety about that one but I'm happy to say it's working out for the best and I'm looking forward to being married. (But wedding planning is stressful!)

    I think I took a lot more risks when I was younger. I tried out for the musical in high school and got the lead. I tried out for cheerleading, even though I was the nerdy type, and became captain my senior year.

    I want to make it a goal to take more risks instead of being stuck in my little comfort zone. I think it's so awesome that you went skydiving! My fiance says he would never do it–but I might want to try it sometime in the future!

    • Karen says:

      Suji,

      Wedding planning is WAY stressful. And what makes it worse is sometimes the dude JUST DOESN’T GET IT! Arrrrgh!!

      What musical did you get the lead in, and what part did you play?

  22. Amber says:

    Hee, isn’t sausage casing usually a negative description of clothing? :D

    Kudos on becoming a leader in such a big blogging category in just a few years. I’m sure it has felt like a long time and has taken a ton of hard work, but that is really very impressive. I would love to find my niche like you have!

    One of my biggest risks was flying 3000 miles just to meet a guy. We’d known each other only online for about 6 years (with a few stretches in there where he acted like such a jerk that I told him to get stuffed and cut him off for a while, haha) but we had no idea how it would translate. We got married a couple years later. He behaves himself now. ;)
    .-= Amber’s last blog post… Spring beastie babies =-.

    • Karen says:

      LOL, yeah, I suppose sausage casing can be considered as not-so-cute. I mean it in the best possible way… like a sexy sausage, ha ha!

  23. Kelly says:

    I used to be much more of a risk taker when I was younger also. I think it’s just something we all get more nervous about the older we get. But here are some risks I have taken:

    When I was 29 I left my then fiancee who I had been with for 10 years. I moved out of the house that we lived in for 5 years (which was in his name but I paid half the mortgage on) and moved back home for a little while. It was THE BEST decision I ever made in my life!

    5 1/2 years ago I left the company I worked for that was very stable for a job closer to home because I was so bored at my job. I immediately hated the new company and tried for 5 months to get back into the old company, but into a different department. I have been back for 5 years now. While I am still not happy with what I do for a living (bored to tears), I totally don’t regret leaving and coming back because I am in a MUCH better position now and know what I want more.

    Almost 9 years ago I bought my house at basically the height of the crazy market. However we lucked out because we found people who really needed to sell and they liked us so we actually paid less than asking when most people were paying 20-40% more than asking!

    In 2008 I decided to start my blog because like you, I was bored with work and needed a creative outlet. I have fallen madly in love with the entire blogging atmosphere, and even though it’s a huge time suck trying to do it with a full-time job, I don’t regret a single thing about it. I just wish I could somehow parlay it into a job!
    .-= Kelly ‘s last blog post… Sally Hansen Complete Salon Summer 2010 Swatches & Review =-.

    • Karen says:

      I wish it didn’t get so hard to make those big jumps as you get older… I would love to be as fearless as I was 10 years ago, but with the knowledge I have now.

  24. lexi says:

    I LOVE this post – I am the firm believer of NO REGRETS and NO LOOKING BACK!

    1. Moving in with my boyfriend – this was back in ’94 and I was barely 20 yrs. old. It was gutsy and really forced me to (TRY) to grow-up. It was the first time I paid rent and I failed miserably for it. It would take a while till I got it down – paid in full and on time. It also taught me the difference between an adult relationship vs. High School relationship.

    2. Moving out of State – this happened in ’99 – I moved to Seattle. I didn’t know anyone but I was the same age my mother had me and I needed to prove to myself when forced, I can take care of myself. My job transferred me there, luckily. I lasted only 9 months there – I missed home (SF). It’s a good thing I came back when I did. My grandmother passed away about a month after my return. I still miss her terribly =(

    3. Leaving my ex-boyfriend for good. This by far, I think is the gutsiest thing I have done. We were way over the expiration date on this relationship and it just became toxic. I did very bad things in the last 4 yrs. of this relationship (total of 12 yrs off and on). He gave me an ultimatum and I packed up most of my stuff and left when he went to work. My initial response was to go back home to him and give it another shot one last time. But a few days of hiding out at my aunt’s house I realize not to go back but move forward and really grow up on my own. It hurt my heart to hear his apologies and begging me to come back. But I think now we are both glad on how things turned out. We are now both married and raising our own families. We are on good terms. This is why Gwen Stefani’s song, “COOL” always brings a tear to my eye.

    4. Going back to school at an age where I should have been graduating Grad School.

    5. The next bold move while at SFSU – being a Film Student. Yup, I studied pre-production cinema in SF. Don’t ask me how it’s going – for any indication I am an admin assist for a consumer brand/pet manufacturing company.

    6. Online dating. I never had a problem meeting men in public but by online dating I got to be very particular of what kind of man I wanted. I met some nice guys (some I wished I could have told in person that it’s not going to work) and met some real jerks, ie. my last boyfriend.

    7. I made a promise to never say “I Love You” again unless I really meant it. I did for a guy that I thought was the one. The one, I was going to leave SF for and live with in Hawaii. Yeah he broke up with me on the phone after I visited him in O’ahu. I will never return to O’ahu – even if he isn’t living there anymore – it holds really BAD memories for me. This relationship did teach me to be patient and that I can truly love someone again.

    8. Taking a chance one more time with love – I met my husband online. No it wasn’t a dating site. He was a jerk at first. My friends and sisters thought I could do better and always wondered why I hung out with him if I knew he was going to hurt me. I bought the book, “He’s Just Not That Into You” because of him. Well through my patience I took a backseat and tried the friends only approach (we were friends while I was with my jerky ex). I think we really liked each other’s company. When I came back broken hearted from Hawaii he was there to comfort me. We naturally ended up together – it wasn’t a new thing we new each other for a few years which is good because it leads to the biggest challenge up to date:

    9. MOTHERHOOD. Yup, I got pregnant right after we really decided that this was it we were serious and no longer “just friends hanging out”. It wasn’t planned – it was a beautiful surprise. We then got hitched in the Rotunda at SF City Hall. Sure I sometimes wished I had the ceremony, wedding gown and wedding cake testing but I have a lovely picture of my husband, me and my pregnant tummy on the beautiful steps of City Hall.

    Wow, I just wrapped up my life thus far!

  25. Mandy says:

    In recent years the biggest risks I took were moving to Australia for 2 years from the U.S. to go to graduate school, and then moving back home after the program and leaving a full-time job in the process. Now I’m back home and trying to sort my life out!

  26. lo says:

    I LOVE THIS! Seriously, and awesome post idea!

    1. Chopping off my looooooong hair into a pixie… and it’s flippin’ cute!
    2. Dating an older man (9 years)… it didn’t work out, but he was truly one of the most quality guys I’ve ever known, and he made me learn a lot about myself (without the heartache and drama of idiot college guys).
    3. Skinny jeans… swore I’d never wear them, but they do make my stubby legs look a little longer!
    4. Not going to grad school right after I graduated college, and instead:
    5. Going into college ministry with C a m p u s C r u s a d e for C h r i s t… definitely a hard choice to make, since there’s not the security of going back to school (my internship is totally dependent on me getting people who can financially support my mission… crazy!)
    6. Deciding to go to Seattle for a mission trip last spring break. I literally decided to go the day after the payment was due (and about 2 weeks before the trip), and they still let me go. And it changed my life. Also, I’m in love with Seattle. It’s a gorgeous city with such awesome history!
    7. 3 words: Hot. Pink. Lipstick.
    8. Wearing yellow… it’s one of my favorite colors, but I always thought it would make me look weird. Maybe it’s my Florida girl tan, but it’s so flattering and I love it!
    9. Letting certain friends and relationships cool down or die completely. Sometimes it was a difficult decision to make, but it was a huge risk to step away from relationships that may have just been habit or a comfort zone, even though they made me miserable. And you know what? So worth it in the end.

    • Karen says:

      Bravo to you for having the guts to do the pixie. I’ve always wanted to, but I feel like my cheeks are too cherubic to pull it off, LOL!

  27. Rica says:

    Hmmm… I’m not sure if I can write 9 things, but I’ll try… Here we go!

    1. Chopping off my hair.

    I’ve always been a long haired girl. But I chopped off like 8 inches of hair in early 2008. I like it except that I hate it! It’s nice to change it up a bit, but it’s now taking so long for it to grow back!!! I’m still waiting for it to grow. Come on hair!

    2. Joining a band

    I love singing! I finally joined a band in 2005, although it’s now disbanded. It was a great experience! I would love to join a new band, because no more school choir for me.

    3. Moving out of town for school

    It was a big thing to me. Studying away from home. I can’t say it was the best 4 years of my life, but I definitely grew a lot during these years. Comparing to my cousins who stayed home for college, I feel like I am far more independent.

    4. Starting my own beauty blog

    My fist post debuted in February 2010, so I’ve been blogging for almost 4 months now. I know I’ll keep writing because I really do enjoy doing so.

    5. Bolder lips

    I used to be a pink gloss girl, and then I become a pink lipstick girl. Now, I can wear bolder colours like MAC Speed Dial without feeling uncomfortable. It’s kind of outside my comfort zone at first, but I’m ready to try more different lip colours =D.

    Ok… I think 5 things is the max that I can write!

    But I think my next bold move will be going blonde, or getting highlights.

    x
    Rica
    .-= Rica’s last blog post… Icyrambles: WLC update! May 26, 2010 =-.

  28. Angela says:

    Deciding to take my program in college. It was so far from my past subject of enthusiasm, but I wanted to give it a try. I’ve never regretted it. Choosing marine engineering over audio production is quite the stretch, and it surprised everyone.

    Being accepted into my program, despite being told my ‘academic standards weren’t high enough’, and proving everyone wrong. I wasn’t a big math and physics whiz in high school ( I failed math in grade 10!), but I’ve proven that I can do it if I want to. So proud of myself! I now am far from intimidated when I tackle gems like thermodynamics, applied mechanics and electrotechnology.

    Going to work on a cruise ship, and being the only woman in my entire department. I didn’t know anyone there, didn’t know my way around, didn’t know anything. It was definitely a risk, but I’m glad I took the chance. I’m hoping to keep working as a marine engineer for my company for a good amount of time now! It also means being away, and almost entirely out of contact with friends and family for up to 4 months at a time. It’s very isolating, and can get lonely if you’re not careful.

    Learning how to drive. I know this isn’t a big deal for a lot of people, but for the longest time trying to learn was a huge source of anxiety for me. I didn’t feel I could trust any of the other drivers, and felt like driving on the road was an invitation for an accident to happen. I finally got over my fear, and I finally got my license. It feels good to finally have my freedom, and to have kicked that anxiety out the door.

    Choosing to tough it through a bad experience on the ship, when everyone said I should come home. I was working with an entire group of people who ignored me, didn’t speak english for me and generally refused to help me when I asked for it. I just felt like I wasn’t wanted, and I wanted to go home so badly. But I toughed it out, and I think it has made me a stronger person, as well as earning me some respect from family and friends for doing what they thought I could’t do.

    Coming to grips with my issues with body image, and learning to love myself again. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m trying to not be so hard on myself, as I am a terrible critic. Finding lovely clothes that I adore and look great on me doesn’t hurt. Also, gaining more experience with make up. I never wore during high school, and no one in my family does, so learning how to do it on my own has been a rewarding risk.

    Embracing the curly hair. I used to hate hate HATE my hair with a terrible passion, but now I love it. I grew up surrounded by girls with long, straight shiny hair when mine was curly and dull looking. Now I appreciate how nice it can look, as well as my ability to choose to straighten it if I want to.
    .-= Angela’s last blog post… The Body SHop Baked Mineral Eyeshadow in Jade =-.

  29. Tiffany says:

    I am not a big risk taker, but my biggest ones would be moving in with my then-boyfriend (now husband) ofter only a few months of dating, getting married in Mexico, and starting grad school. I only regret the last one :)

    • Karen says:

      When will you be done? It’s soon, right?

      • Tiffany says:

        no definite date and not anytime soon. I finished all the classes for my M.S. but I am having major problems with my thesis data collection, so everything is stalled for me. oh well, I guess that’s life…

        • Karen says:

          That’s life indeed.

          Well, is there any way around the data collection problems? Or is it a matter of just sitting and waiting for other people?

          • Tiffany says:

            I am trying to think of new solutions. It’s just one of those things where I have had roadblock after roadblock after roadblock, and I have lost my motivation and am just frustrated…

  30. Karen says:

    Hi everyone,

    I just wanted to thank you for sharing your stories. Reading about your leaps of faith made my morning.

  31. Mina says:

    I *adore* this post, and it’s one of many reminders of how admirable you are, Karen. I really love your positive attitude and confidence, and while I love the makeup posts, I appreciate these types of posts, too. And, of course, crazy kitty posts.

    I’m a senior about to graduate with a degree in anthropology, something that I really, really love, and something that I’ve planned to do graduate work in. I’m thankful to say my options for grad school are the best in the country (seriously, so unbelievable!), but I know my potential careers are going to be very, very limited. I’d be happy teaching/publishing, but other people have mentioned law school to me. The obvious benefits – job security and better income – are nice, but I don’t know if it’s me. :/ I guess my dilemma is trying to find a median between logistics (job security and income) and inherent interests/skills.

    What made you think twice about law school?

    • Karen says:

      Hey Mina,

      Thanks for your very nice words, and congrats on your upcoming graduation!

      Regarding law school, if you’re unsure I highly suggest you work in firm, legal department or with a sole practitioner first. You’ll get a lot of valuable experience for your application and will be able to network. Plus, you’ll get an idea of the day-to-day stuff, and if you like it.

      What made me think twice about going was my time spent in the working world. Law firms took a lot of the glamour away for me. I met a lot of lawyers who loved their jobs, but I also met a lot of people who finished school and wanted to find a way out because they hated it. I also realized that I didn’t want to spend all that money to do something I wasn’t 100% passionate about, and I figured that if I wanted it badly enough in five years, the option was still there.

      Also, deep down I think my subconscious knew I needed to be doing something creative…

  32. Daya says:

    I love reading everyone’s stories and the risks they have taken. I have a lot of the common ones posted..moving 14 hours away from my family to live with and now marry, my husband, completing my college degree with little children underfoot, finding the courage to wear red anywhere but around my house :), pushing myself to really work from home and writing for the web, and now, I’m trying to find my inner fit girl too! At least the weights and better eating habits are a start! :)

  33. Kat says:

    I fell in love with my current boyfriend of four years best friend, who was…well, also my best friend and dating one of my other good friends. We fell in love with each other really, broke up with our significant others and in a whirlwind got together, got married, and had a child. We couldn’t be happier, but it was pretty scary at the time!

  34. Sharon says:

    I’m really enjoying reading these comments and the blog entry itself. :)

    The Universe is apparently telling me to make some huge changes because several times over the last few days there have been very clear signs to that effect. A lot of things need to change for me and I’ve been maintaining the status quo (not entirely successfully) because I lost my dad sixteen months ago and the conventional wisdom is not to make any big changes for at least a year.

    The hair thing — I once decided, after a bad breakup, to dye my blonde hair brown (because my ex said my hair was one of the things he loved me for). Except my hair turned GREEN, and required a trip to the salon to get it fixed. My hair has been blonde ever since. :)

  35. Stef says:

    I’m kind of the opposite, I have just recently started taking big risks in my life, the last 10 years or so, I’ll be 35 in two weeks. I was a shy kid and afraid of looking like a doofus! So my three are:

    1. Becoming a parent. Even if you think you’re ready, you totally aren’t. Hardest thing I’ll ever do, but immensely rewarding every day. My girls are my life!

    2. Joining a roller derby league. I’m not great yet, but I’ll get there. And I’ll be amazing!

    3. Choosing to be a stay at home Mom. We lost half our income, until the Hubby found a career that pays well, but it’s by far the smartest thing I’ve ever done.

    • Karen says:

      Wow, that’s super cool you do roller derby. What inspired you to start?

      Do you get to get all agro and body check other players? I have to admit I’d probably find that strangely satisfying.

  36. Jen says:

    These stories are amazing! I can’t think of any big risks I’ve taken (except chopping off my hair — that was fun.), but I do want to try skydiving one day. I suppose getting into makeup is another, because I never used to wear it in high school and most of college.

    I think I need to do more living. ;)

  37. Marian says:

    I’ve always been a huge risk taker. I don’t feel alive unless I’m taking a risk.
    I’ve done the hair thing. I wore my hair buzz cut with a razor done in a barber shop for about 10 years all throughout the 80s. I don’t even consider that a risk.
    I’ve dated men who were much older and much younger.
    I once met a man who I talked with online for many years. He’s from Scotland and I’m in the US. We met in NY and it was lots of fun….and I’m married.
    I used to go sailing and white water rafting and I didn’t know how to swim. (I do now)

    The only thing I’ve ever done that I really consider a risk was adopting my two children. It was scary and it took a long time and I had to go through a lot of scrutiny but it was the best risk I ever took! They are now 18 and 15 and I can’t imagine my life without them.

  38. Steph B says:

    What a great topic. It is so easy to stick with the comfortable that you forget how fearless you sometimes are.

    - Moving to Hawaii. I’d grown up in NY and went to school in NC. All of my family was on the east coast and I knew absolutely no one in HI. Was a great way to really learn how to rely on myself.

    - Leaving grad school without my degree. I hit a brick wall with my thesis and just needed to be doing something else. I went from working in a lab to a fellowship in Congress. I found an entirely new (but not really) career and have had fabulous opportunities. I didn’t pay tuition so didn’t have to regret money spent. I learned what I needed from that program and moved on.

    - Leaving a good job to go back to grad school. 12 years later, I quit a comfortable job in a town I hated living in and went back to school for a completely different degree. It meant blowing through a big chunk of savings but was a fantastic experience I wouldn’t trade for anything. Graduating in 2009 in a horrible economy was rough. I am glad I took a chance and said no to some jobs that would have made me unhappy, accepting the risk that I’d find something more interesting. It took a while and I got very anxious at times but found the courage to keep going.

    - I lived with a guy for 4 years and we were heading towards marriage. He was a great guy, but, I had doubts. Even though he moved from HI to the east coast with me, I found the courage to break things off. Turns out, we were both in the same place but it just seemed selfish in a way to walk away from things so we didn’t. We’re both in better places now.

  39. Ginger says:

    Thank you for posting this Karen… it’s made me do a lot of thinking and personal reflection. A lot of things have happend in my life to me, but not really to where I took a big chance or leap of faith. I plan on doing that soon though with my job, and I hope and pray that it all works out. :)

  40. Raven says:

    I am only fifteen, so mine may not be quite as exhuberant (it IS a word!!) as yours, but…

    1. conquoring my fear of spiders.
    2. Going in voice lessons
    3. Wearing skinny jeans <3
    4. Sporting a slick, PERFECT cat liner, Orange/Red vintage dress and black Bebe Jordan strappy heels to my grade 9 grad.
    5. Asking out my first love a year after we drifted apart (8 months strong!).
    6. Everytime I perform in front of an auditorium full of people.
    7. Kissing HIM (not he other way around xD) on the second date.
    8. Plucking/lightening my eyebrows myself.
    9. Being comfortable in my body and being myself.

    Thank you so much for this, Karen, you're so Rad!

  41. Anat says:

    I’m so happy for you (and envious at the same time) that you took the leap(s), especially not compromising with being a lawyer and being stuck in something you dislike.
    You are brave, you are an inspiration.
    Thank you, Karen.

  42. Shiny says:

    Wow, this was a great post…. I’m late to the party but I’ll add my stories in.

    1) Realizing the major my parents pushed me towards was going to end in epic fail, so switching majors and moving back home. It forced me to really take stock of what I was doing with my life.

    2) Getting in a grad program with a scholarship after slogging through my new degree in a shorter time frame. While in this grad program I got an internship so I left town to go work in India for three months.

    3) I’m glad I took that chance because it led me to meet my potential PhD supervisor and find a topic I love to study. I’m on the cusp of some other big chances – moving to another country alone, having the nose job I’ve been thinking about for ages – and I think I’ll take them.! :D

    • Karen says:

      Hi Shiny,

      Ahh, I can still remember when you just about to leave for India! It seems like yesterday.

      I had something similar happen to me with my parents. They pushed me toward medicine at first, and I went along for the ride for two years before getting the courage to tell them that it was just not going to happen (I actually hate hospitals and blood makes me queasy… talk about epic fail). Prior to that I’d always been “the good girl” that did everything my parents asked me to, so it was shocking for them, and especially my dad. This was over 10 years ago, and the subject is still a sore one in my family.

      But I’m glad to hear that things are working out great with your new path. I hope you still come “visit” here when you move!

  43. Wendy says:

    I have a similar story to Linda above –
    Was friends with a guy in England for about 4 years (I live in the US), he helped me get through a really awful breakup (which was with one of his friends, how I knew him) just by talking, he called me on the phone a few times. Months went by, I started dating someone local and we lost touch. Ended up emailing a few times back and forth over the years. Last May, something compelled me to find him on Facebook. He instantly accepted the request and messaged me on chat.
    We talked for 12 hours that day.
    I ended up flying over to meet him a month and a half later… and it just clicked. I can’t explain it, it was like I had known him forever.
    We’re getting married in July :)

    That is probably the biggest risk I’ve taken — flying 3,500 miles to meet someone I knew over the internet. It could have gone horribly wrong but it turned out amazing for me!

    Second, and noticeably smaller, cutting my waist-length hair to my chin a few years ago =P I can’t say that turned out as well…I’m back to mid-back length! lol

  44. Andreea says:

    Oh, I took risks… but if you are not really aware of them, it does not count;-) Now I finished university and I am doing my ph.D which I consider risky at the age of 32 – badly paid, but doing what makes me happy.
    Taking a chance – I blog for five years now. I write since I have been eight years old – it makes me happy. The topic is less important, I just love to think and communicate.

    Thank you all for sharing and thank you all for blogging.
    .-= Andreea’s last blog post… Sex and the City 2 der Film und die Männer =-.

  45. astrid says:

    Hi Karen,
    I’ve been meaning to comment the moment I saw your post. Thank you for the inspiration :).I wanted to make a short comment on it, but it turned out to be a long list. I made a blog post instead.
    Here’s my (shortened) list:
    1. Standing up and get noticed
    2. Starting our own company
    3. Studying in Germany
    4. Becoming a Writer, full time
    5. Moving to Berlin
    6. Doing Pilates and Yoga
    7. Wearing skinny jeans
    8. Trying out purple eyeshadows
    9. Blogging

    Thank you again for sharing yours :).

  46. Hana Berlin says:

    got yellow nail polish… love it!!! =)

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