Taking Risks

Michelle - Rockford, Michigan
Entered on January 13, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: carpe diem

I believe in living life by taking risks. I believe that you don’t have to be brave or comfortable with a situation to really go for it. In fact, the most fulfilling moments in life are the moments when you’re scared to death.

Earlier this year I stood up in a nice Italian restaurant after a five-course meal, my face covered in orange and black face paint. Coming home from the high school state finals football game, I was wearing old jeans and an orange tee shirt. I was a little nervous, having left my comfort zone back at the table. After I sporadically stood up and sang a short Italian aria, my friend’s dad fulfilled his end of the deal and handed me $20, and we left. It was random, silly, and I was afraid, but it was fun, something I’ll always remember.

True, not everyday lends an opportunity to take a risk and do something incredibly memorable, but it’s a belief that should always remain with us. The smallest risk, the tiniest bit of discomfort, can lead to great rewards. Best friends can be gained by joining a conversation instead of sitting in a corner, safe but alone. You can learn a lifetime of lessons by taking a class none of your friends will be in. A few hours of volunteer work can gain you perspectives never acquired by watching TV at home.

It may be the scariest thing you’ve ever done, but I believe that personal growth comes from doing the things that scare me the most, because, who knows, maybe one day I’ll wake up and find that I’m no longer afraid. For now, though, I try to always look for that Italian restaurant and make sure I always have an aria to sing.