Risky Business

“Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Take the moment and make it perfect.” I remember seeing this quote frequently on Facebook during middle school and mocking making a mental note of it. Truthfully, Facebook quotes sound better in theory but put that quote into execution and you find a timid Patricia.

My whole life I’ve always looked before I leaped. I’ve made lists on top of lists for every aspect of my life. I have Instagram captions and outfits planned out months ahead of time. In my world, things always have to go a certain way for that PERFECT moment. On one hand this makes me sound impeccably organized but it leaves little room for spontaneity. Because of that, I’ve always found myself overthinking and over analyzing before I even do anything because I am too scared to take a chance. As a result, I’ve missed out on opportunities to live boldly and while I don’t believe that one should have regrets, if there is one thing I would change about my early-mid teen years, it’s the fact that I should have spent less time (over) thinking and more time doing.

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When it comes to taking risks, I am the type of person who would rather play it safe than completely fail. While that has saved me from rejection and heartache, I’ve found that it makes for a boring life. Ten years from now when I have children, I’m going to wish I had more stories to tell them about the chances I took instead of telling them that cookie cutter “I did everything perfectly and never fell flat on my face” type of story.

This is by no means a blog post encouraging you to drop out of college to travel the world. Or spending every penny you have because tomorrow is not a guarantee so you should “seize the day.” But. If you died tomorrow, how many of those goals and dreams you set for yourself have been completed?

Obviously, you cannot become a doctor within a day or find yourself married with four kids, but I am referring to those things you want to do but are too fearful to pursue because it involves vulnerability. Like approaching that cute guy you’ve had your eye on for months but are too scared to speak to because of rejection. Or changing majors because you chose the wrong one. Or apologizing to someone you wronged but are too prideful to say sorry to. Or finally mustering up the courage to tell your friend that something they’re doing is bothering you.

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Life is short. You don’t know what will happen tomorrow. You don’t know when the opportunity to take that risk will come around again and each day you wait is another day you won’t get back. Better to rip that bandage and go for it. It’s better to just do it and embarrass yourself instead of wondering “what if” for the rest of your life.

My favorite TV show once said, “the greatest rewards come from doing the things that scare you the most.” Even if you completely fail, fall flat on your face, or can’t stop shaking (if you know you know), you will be glad you took that risk because you will never have to wonder “what if.” That same risk that you think you will completely fail at might also be the risk that brings you the most joy.

Let’s be more proactive and stop waiting for that so-called “perfect” moment because when it comes to risks, there isn’t an optimal time. You simply have to take a chance and be ready for whatever the consequences entail. Here’s to taking risks and living life fearlessly despite the many uncertainties that plague us.

In short: YOLO.

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