Risks Reap Rewards

Constantly, I ponder-what will this change be like? how will I respond to these drastic environmental shifts? what will I do in a [life] that is completely unknown?

Am I even prepared for this choice that I’ve made? (I mean, I recognize that it is the right choice… but there are so many new factors to consider). I have not once taken a risk. Never. For the longest time, I’ve had this attitude. This desire. This goal to regulate the boundaries of my comfort zone. I’m not saying I haven’t changed throughout my life; but I’ve only changed as my natural self changes with the calm ebbs and flows of life’s transitions.

Never have I tried something so strikingly different than my beautiful status quo.

Until this past week. And when this happened, I knew. Risks reap rewards. Without adventure, bravery, or curiosity of the unknown, life is too ordinary.

And it wasn’t even a huge risk that caused me to have this revelation. This revision of my current adversity to risk.

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It was an inevitability. I knew when I signed up to work on the administrative team for a non-profit youth development sailing and mentorship organization that they would someday convince me to go out on the water. The idea of it terrified me, so I’ve tried to put it off for a long time. Mostly because learning something like sailing would require several hours of one-on-one training with opportunities for relatively safe real-life practice. However, my first time, I was thrown on a boat with one of the program participants to teach me. And I was sitting there. On the boat. In the middle of the bay. With no knowledge of how to control the jib or how to maneuver when the wind caused the rig to tip. And I thought to myself Wow. I cannot believe that I am actually doing this. I didn’t know the environment. I didn’t have any tools that I knew how to use. And I didn’t know the lingo.

But I still was able to do it.

And when we capsized and I was swimming around in the bay waiting to be ‘rescued’, I knew that no matter what challenges I face or obstacles I encounter, I can make it through. If I can try to sail and fail, then I can try other things and maybe I’ll succeed. If I can ‘hit the ground running’ (or maybe I should say ‘hit the water, sailing a lot quicker than I expected to be’) with sailing, then I know I can jump right into this new experience abroad. It’s one and the same. A different type of risk which will reap unthinkable rewards.

And so, now I know. I am ready. To put myself in a new environment. Where I don’t have many tools. Where I don’t know the language (Spanish) very well, but where I know that if I try and succeed, I’ll be a better human for it.

This meme highlights a quote from the Little Prince which sort of captures the essence of above.