Real Risk

For most of my twenties I focused on becoming financially independent, but as I drew closer to my thirtieth birthday, there was a shift.

Is living for a paycheck a safe choice? Is living for something we believe in a scary choice? I’ve been thinking a lot about how we define “risk” in our lives. It is often described by monetary loss or gain. We equate a job with security and those pursuits that don’t lead to financial stability or material comfort are risky.

Risk is the potential of losing something of value.

What do we consider valuable? It may be financial security; we want to clear our debts or invest in a home. It may be artistic satisfaction; we want to make something meaningful and put it out into the world. It may be love; we want to nurture those closest to us or build a family. These values vary from person to person and change throughout the course of our lives.

For most of my twenties I focused on becoming financially independent, but as I drew closer to my thirtieth birthday, there was a shift. Because in the fifth grade I said I was going to be a writer. Because everyday I wake up in a new city I haven’t begun to scratch the surface of. Because it has been a long time since I felt necessary or connected in my work, I suddenly traded comfort for courage and parted with my job of 6+ years.

The reaction to this news has been shock with a little fear mixed in. I don’t think I would be presumptuous in saying that most would consider this a textbook example of risky. Without a clear plan for what comes next, I resigned. For a while, doubt brushed against me and I wondered if I made the right decision. But after settling into the uncertainty, I am certain it was.

I’ll leave you with this quote from Brené Brown because after all

The person who believes in what we’re doing and why we’re doing it and the person who says, Yeah, it’s so scary to show up. It feels dangerous to be seen. It’s terrifying. But it is not as scary, dangerous or terrifying as getting to the end of our lives and thinking, What if I would’ve shown up? What would have been different?

…is the one that counts.

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18 comments

  1. Maryn,

    Love your blog, I came to it via Miss Minimalist, love her too! You are so brave. I am truly inspired by how you have lived and how you took the power back from the false ideals that LA pushes to lead a genuine, joy-filled existence. Bravo.

    1. Wendy, your message made my day! Thank you for your kind words and for stopping by. Miss Minimalist has such a wonderful community and I’m so happy to connect with others on a similar path. Sending a big hug your way! xoxo

  2. You are doing something amazing and I am so super proud of you!!! Honestly, it is not easy to take a leap of faith and trust, but you need to make space for the wonderful things to come into your life. And you can’t do that if your whole life is packed with a job and whatever else you have going on that you may not find really meaningful. I’m cheering for you!

    1. Thank you friend! Since I left, new insights and opportunities are falling into my lap and I believe it has everything to do with creating space for them. Trust in what you love and it will take you where you need to go…

    1. “Just let it be, let it be.” This is what I need to remember as I wade through doubts and uncertainties about the future. I don’t know exactly what it’s going to look like (I guess we never do). It’s about opening ourselves up to the moment and building from there. Thank you for reminding me of this. When I’m focused on getting somewhere or making something, I forget to enjoy this moment of life. It’s a special one.

      1. Yes! You’ll find your next step sooner than you think. And who knows when you’ll have a period in your life like this again? (Answer: you won’t!) 🙂

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