I used to be afraid of thunderstorms. While I’ve gotten over it for the most part, I still hate it when I’m in a car as sheets of pouring rain fall around and whenever lightning flashes every other second, especially if it comes in the form of chain lightning. But given that I live in Houston, enduring bad weather inside a car is pretty much inevitable.
I don’t know if ti’s just a Catholic thing, but I consider my life to be a bit of an oxymoron. I like having routines, but I get bored easily. I love books, but I’m picky about what I read. I’m a total chatterbox online, but I suck at making small talk in real life. Most of all, my favorite quote starts with “To love at all is to be vulnerable…” but I hate taking risks, especially in matters of the heart.
But let’s be honest. Risks are the only way that we ever learn anything. I’m not talking about jumping-off-a-cliff or experimenting with drugs or people kind of risks. I’m talking about pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zones. To put things in theatre terms, we’re never gonna get the lead role if we don’t go out and audition for the musical first. I could’ve been in a musical or studied abroad in college, but I never took those chances and I seriously regret that.
On the other hand, I feel like I took a risk in going to a convention of thirty thousand something people a year ago just to meet my favorite actor and pretend to be a vampire slayer and it’s still one of my favorite memories. I also take a risk every time I volunteer at my young adult retreats because, as stated before, I open myself to being put through the emotional wringer. I also have to deal with every retreat being different from the last one and it takes me a while to think on my feet. In spite of that, I still learn a lot from each experience.
My favorite TV shows and movies are always action-packed or have characters who are put through the emotional wringer and come out a little hardened, but a whole lot wiser. It might’ve been safer for Bilbo Baggins to stay in the Shire instead of going off on an adventure, but he wouldn’t have come back with a story to tell. It might’ve been safer for Rick to stick his neck out for no one, but he couldn’t have saved the woman he loves if he did. It might’ve been safe for the apostles to stay in hiding after Jesus’s death, but the Holy Spirit compelled them to do otherwise.
One song I associate with taking risks is Taylor Swift’s “Treacherous.” It was the song I listened to while I was waiting in line for James Marsters at Comicpalooza. At first, I imagined the song with my favorite characters. But then, he walked in just as the song got to the bridge, which includes the line “Nothing safe is worth the drive.” That line has been one of my favorite Taylor Swift lyrics for quite some time because they remind me, along with all of my other favorite quotes, that taking a risk is more often than not a good thing.
What pushes you out of your comfort zone? What are you most afraid of? I’m not asking anyone to go bungee jumping or spend a wild night out in Vegas, but I wanna ask you what kind of risks you think you’ll be willing to take.