This post is in response to the following writing prompt: It was Erica Jong that said, “If you don’t risk anything, you risk more.”
There are so many times in life that we have to take a leap of faith and build our wings on the way down (a quote attributed to an unknown source). Of course, staying exactly where we are and never taking a risk feels safe. It feels like the easiest thing to do. All these questions pop in to our heads such as, “Will I have traded the devil for the witch?” or “Will I regret it?” or “Will I be indelibly changed after this experience?” And the big one, “What if I fail?” Of course, what if you did? Life unfolds exactly as it is supposed to. Do you actually regret any of the decisions you have made that allowed you to move in a different direction?
Regret is a funny word though. I think we all have a few regrets. There are certain things I’ve done or said that I dearly wish I could take back. Yes, they have allowed me to eventually grow as a person. Yes, they have given me the opportunity for introspection and the ability to see what I need to work on. But I think so many people out there that say they have no regrets don’t mean it in this sense. I think what they actually mean is that they don’t regret the risks they have taken. The biggest things I have ever been scared about the possibilities of, when it felt like I was risking everything are as follows:
- Changing schools
- Extracting toxic relationships from my life
- Changing to a better job
- Trying to have a baby
- Getting married
- Publishing blog posts
Do I regret any of these decisions? No. Did they all feel risky? Yes. But risk is a sign that you are pushing the boundary on life; that you are leering over the event horizon of possibility. And as we all well know, once this new universe is glimpsed, it’s impossible to pretend we didn’t see it. It tantalizes.