An Unorthodox Take on Taking the Risk

When someone tells you to take the risk, you usually take it seriously and think: What do you need to do more to step out of your comfort zone, what you need to push to redefine the limits you have set for yourself.

I’ve learnt that taking the risk can also mean stepping back and closing certain doors. Taking the risk can often be taken out of context, and in the context where I need to buckle down and focus, and learn to settle on a dream that is mine — blocking out those that aren’t mine — taking the risk means taking a step back, and sealing all of the exits.

For a long time, I’ve endeavored to take the risk by prying open new doors when opportunity came knocking, or biting into the apples that I was told not to chew, or cutting off a lengthier piece of bedazzled fabric than I need.

And that has been driven by two things:

  1. The ever-present high expectations of my parents, who may have accidentally nurtured the spirit of go-getting, regardless of occasion and regardless of my own limits, within me.
  2. The inability to recognise that some dreams aren’t mine.

The second point occurred to me when I was crying, and when I was getting tissue, and when I plucked it out of the wrong packet. My friend said that this isn’t your packet, and i responded with a oh my gosh I’m so sorry. Then she said well, you can still use it, honey, because you’re crying and you need it.

And in that moment, it clicked.

This dream may not be mine, but because I see others around me conjuring that dream, and because I am in the position of need — of needing an anchor, a dream to keep me going — I adopt some semblance of that dream and get severe anxiety trying to fulfil it. But I need to take the risk to shut that dream out and recognise that that isn’t my own dream, that I have my own dreams, that are waiting to be embraced when I am alone and one with my thoughts.

To me, the push-and-pull nature of risk taking is a valuable lesson that I have learnt, because I can finally acknowledge that what is scary to me — shutting other thoughts off and focusing on my own — can be something that I learn to conquer.