It’s Not Going to Kill You

Grace - Christiansburg, Virginia
Entered on January 13, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
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I believe that trying something new just once is not going to kill me.

I hate fish. In fact, I hate just about any kind of seafood. If asked why, I couldn’t give a definite answer. I don’t mind the taste and the texture doesn’t freak me out; but there is something about the bones. Those clear thin bones are nearly impossible to see. As a little girl, only three or four, I swallowed a fish bone while eating my dinner of smoked salmon. The bone, roughly the size of a sewing pin, lodged itself in my throat. Though it did no physical harm to me, I was traumatized, even after I coughed it up a few hours later.

I barely remember the incident anymore, but it left me with a strong aversion to any food that once lived in the sea. Never the less, last summer while staying with some family friends, I found myself peering at the appetizer of sushi sitting on the counter. I stared it down as I debated whether or not to try it, just out of curiosity. My parents tried to persuade me by saying what they have said to me my whole life, “Just try it. It’s not going to kill you.” I finally decided to try the little roll of sushi while the opportunity presented itself. Although I was violently sick soon after consuming the raw fish, I was so thankful that I had made the decision to try it.

As a seventeen-year-old girl, I have plenty of dreams of adventures I want to have that will put me out of my comfort zone, such as rock climbing and hang gliding. How can I ever expect to accomplish such feats if I can’t even will myself to try a piece of sushi? By pushing myself to do the small things, I am slowly able to overcome the fears I have developed over time. I would never be able to try hang gliding if I did not attempt to experience smaller adventures like sushi, public speaking, and saying “I love you” first. I don’t want to be held back by my fears and insecurities. When the time comes I want to plunge head first without my fears causing me to second guessing myself. If I become too afraid of trying something new, I will never grow as a person. I will always live my life wishing I had taken the opportunity when I had it. I don’t want to wish it. I want to do it. When I am eighty-five and physically declining, I want to be satisfied in knowing that I did everything I dreamed about, whether it was swimming with sharks or simply speaking with someone unfamiliar.

A warm feeling comes over me when I have successfully tried something new. It reassures me that I can do anything; even things I never expected. And it didn’t kill me to try.