When was the last time you took a chance?
As a kid I was shy - extremely so. I didn't really start coming out of my shell until college and even then I was still a wallflower and fairly socially awkward until a couple of years ago. And since it is inherent in my personality, I still can be. A lot of times if you're shy you come across as snobby. That didn't really help in high school. My first "outside the box" decision came when I decided to study abroad for three months. I was 20 and in college but had been living at home to save money so this was my first time away from home - and I was going far away. Even so it was a bought-and-paid-for, limited-time trip with chapperoned travel and organized courses and accomodations. It was college abroad. Yet it was a great start and I came back with a whetted appetite.
Fast forward a few years to when I decided to take a huge risk and move to New York alone with no job. Everyone had an opinion and a comment. Some thought I wouldn't make it, that I was too shy. Yet in addition to my tendency toward bashfulness I am also incredibly strong-willed and have been since birth. I wanted to do this. And I did. That was nearly two years ago. It was the biggest chance I've taken to this day and it has offered the biggest reward.
I boarded that plane with two suitcases and a lot of hope - I haven't looked back. It has been nearly two years full of chances. I've gone into so many social situations where I didn't know a soul that I've lost count. I moved into three apartments full of strangers - crossing my fingers I wouldn't be on the street a week later because I woke up to someone hovering over me with a knife. I went speed dating, tried online dating, and smiled awkwardly through many a blind date. I dragged a 50 lb. A/C two blocks and up five flights of stairs to avoid paying for delivery, coordinated a very espensive and stressful move with two college kids who let me ride to my new abode in their rented truck, and most recently, joined a social sports league to meet new friends and thoroughly embarass myself in an elementary school gym once a week. It is almost as if I have gotten so used to taking chances that I never would have two or five years ago that it has become commonplace. I've stopped recognizing them for what they are and what it means to the girl who was formerly so shy she would avoid places and people and hide in the bathroom during dance class when it was her turn to dance in front of her more talented classmates. So it is time to start recognizing the bravery and strength. We all need to do that for ourselves.
What have you done lately that's brave? It obviously means different things for different people.
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