Better safe than sorry, or better to live and learn? That’s the question I’m juggling with right now…and when I say “juggling,” I really mean throwing everything I know up into the air and hoping that it lands in one piece. Do the people who take chances and risks get more out of life than those that don’t, those people who constantly experience the “not knowing” of a situation but dive in head first anyways? Or are the people who stick to what they know the smarter ones? The people who like the security of knowing what’s going to happen next, of what to expect and don’t feel the need to step out of their comfort zone simply because they don’t have to. In the end, who ends up on top?
If you have been keeping up with this fabulous blog (but of course you have, right?), you should know my answer to that question. If you’ve been reading about my stories and my outlook on life on here, then that answer should be a given. Right? Well, while you are not wrong, I must also admit that recently I’ve experienced the latter end of that question. Sure, I love traveling and being spontaneous, but I’ve learned how to be comfortable and content with routine. I know what to expect out of my days, I usually know what I’m doing on the weekends a few days in advance (and for those that know me, that’s a huge milestone), I know the people I’m going to see, the foods I’m going to eat, and the places I’m going to go. I know the joggers I’m going to pass while on my way to work (yes, I see the same people jogging at the same time everyday…semi creepy), and overall, I feel so….secure. No surprises, no tricks, just straightforward and…generic.
But where’s the fun in that? The few times that I’ve thought about enjoying the routine of everything, I am quick to bite my tongue. Because I know that’s not me. I know that’s not what I want. And I only think that because I am “in the moment” of it. It’s so easy to become comfortable with a routine and a schedule, but I’m not looking for easy. I want a challenge. I NEED a challenge. What I am most afraid of out of life is being sucked into something because it is easy and secure. Sure, right now, I live in Cleveland, and while I do love this city more than anything, I also know that there is SO much more out there. I do not want to stay in Cleveland because, for me, that is the easy thing to do. I KNOW Cleveland will always be here for me, it’s my home, my city, my life. But at the same time, there is so much more to simply experience and explore. People think I’m crazy for wanting to move and for wanting to live in a big, new city, but really, isn’t there nothing better than doing something a little crazy, a tad scary, and something straight out wild?
And while I debate back and forth between the “easy” life, and the “adventurous” life, I always come back to the same story, the same lesson. Last year, while I was a senior at Ohio State, I was a marketing/public relations intern for a local Columbus neighborhood. Our main job was to focus on how to market this trendy, up and coming neighborhood. The lady in charge of the association was intimidating, straightforward, and knew exactly what she wanted, when she wanted it. And I completely looked up to her. One day, it was just her and I in the office, and she told me a story of how after college graduation, she up and moved to Miami beach with a friend of hers and bar tended there for eight years, without having any initial plan at all. It was the time of her life…when she only had to worry about herself and had the freedom to do any and everything she wanted. Her time in Miami didn’t last forever, and in fact she is now happily married with a baby, but she STILL refers to those days as some of the best ever…because the story of it will live forever (refer to my previous blog posts for more on this topic…).
And that, right there, is the point to my story. What’s 2 years, 5 years, or even 8 years of doing something spontaneous and exhilarating in the big scheme of life? Take that risk, make the next move, go out on that limb. If you mess up or decide it’s not for you, well, who cares? It’s YOUR life, and you live and learn, but you most definitely don’t know until you try. And you will never get another shot at it, ever, because you only experience life once. If you are at a crossroad in your life, having no idea of which direction to go in and which road will lead you to the greatest happiness, take my advice. Take the road you are most scared of. Take the bumpy road, the jagged road, with the destination unknown. Take the road less traveled.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowline. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. DREAM“.