I want to be the kind of person who takes risks. Sometimes, I pretend I’m the kind of person who takes risks. I convince myself that the actions I take are risky, even though they probably aren’t, and I pretend not to worry even though I spend all of my time worrying. The reality of it is that I am afraid of a lot of things. The reality is that instead of taking risks, I play the board game RISK with my friends. The reality is that I am always the shadow of a person who takes risks, trying to follow along but always lagging behind. Always less bold.
What are you so afraid of? I wonder to myself.
Everything. Absolutely everything. I’m afraid that nothing will work out the way that I want it to. I’m afraid that nothing will work out the way that it should. I’m afraid that I will constantly fear everything that I also love. I’m afraid that things will stop being the way that they always were. I’m afraid that nothing will change at all. I’m afraid of every possibility, when I could see so many chances within those possibilities instead.
In my mind, those possibilities exist for the kind of people who take risks: both the good possibilities and the bad possibilities. In order to achieve something good, we must take a risk and accept that not everything will turn out how we imagined it. The reality of it is that I can’t avoid possibilities. I can’t avoid the world and everything in it. The reality of it is that by avoiding risk, I do not protect myself; I stop myself from getting what I want.
The reality of it is that I should stop trying to be the “type” of person who takes risks and instead, simply be a person who takes risks when she believes in something. Be a person who still fears what she loves, but loves it enough not to let the fear stop her. I am not the shadow of the “type” of person who takes risks. I am the shadow lagging behind who I want to be.
What are you so afraid of? That I’ll never catch up. That I’ll always follow the path of what I wanted without immersing myself in it. Without leading the way.
I’m trying to leave the fear behind instead. I’m trying to guide the fear and let it motivate me and encourage me and challenge me and even scare me without letting it control me. My fear exists; I can’t deny that. I feel it. Often, even. It belongs to me. But it doesn’t have to encompass me.