Lately, I’ve been thinking about the kind of courage it takes to fully live. It took courage to go on this 2-month cross-country, poetry-reading, picture-taking, journey-blogging road trip I just embarked on. And this wasn’t even in my plans for 2013.
When I was 17, I had my life planned out until my 25th birthday. That seemed like a pretty expansive plan to me at the time, given that it covered college and the beginning of my career. And once, I had jokingly said that 29 would be a good age at which to get married, so it became a part of the plan. It was a more-than-decent blueprint, except things didn’t work out as planned.
My choices can mean the difference between loving or hating the life I have, so I choose to live courageously. I take calculated risks. You see, without risks, there is little progress or forward movement. I choose to repeatedly step out of my comfort zones because I know that I can go further, higher.
Seriously, what did I know at 17? My plans didn’t include living on other continents, taking college classes in German and getting to be friends with people from Latvia, Peru and Australia. They didn’t include a Moroccan deskmate, a weekend dash to Paris, or life in the US.
When you take a risk, you often face great unknowns, and will likely make mistakes. But more importantly, you open yourself up to great adventures, marvelous discoveries and expanded horizons. Here’s my little piece of hard-won wisdom: do everything in your power to enjoy the life you have, even if it isn’t quite the life you wanted. Take a good look at the cards you have been dealt. Make some risky moves. Play your best hand.
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. Security does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than exposure. ~Helen Keller