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Risk-takers and the people who hate them

I guess it's the meme or something of the week -- now Steve H. is writing about how some people are so averse to risk that even the most ordinary action, one normal people would think nothing about doing -- such as getting in one's own car and driving to another city -- becomes cause for alarms, imaginary fears, and exaggerated warnings.

I know what he means about having those closest to you hold you back and down because of their own psychological problems and lack of initiative. In fact, I had gone far down the road of becoming one of those people myself by the time I broke free of the (mostly imaginary) hold that was on me and left Miami, the city I was born and raised in and had lived in for twice as long as I wanted to. In the space of about a year I had uprooted myself to another city, had my first Relationship™, went back to community college, ended my first (and I decided, only) Relationship™, and moved out on my own to my first real apartment (the squalid efficiency I lived in like a mushroom for nearly ten years in Miami didn't count). And from that time up to now I bought a new car and drove by myself from Orlando, Florida to Lexington, Kentucky to see U2 (this is still the most adventurous thing I have done besides finally leaving Miami -- though I was a grown woman I had never made a trip out of state by myself), graduated from community college with an Associates Degree while supporting myself with student loans and a part-time job, enrolled in university, then quit the part time job, ended up being unemployed longer than I thought and had to leave my apartment and move in with friends for a while, got a new job within the week and another apartment within a couple of months, had my car reposessed (oops!), learned the bus routes from home to work, and stayed alone in my apartment through Hurricanes Charley, Frances, and Jeanne.

Of course, maybe none of that sounds particularly adventurous, but if you could see the little timid, dull creature I used to be you would be amazed. I am slowly returning to the self-sufficiency and -- not fearlessness, but divested of imaginary fears -- self that I was meant to be. And I've been pretty good at avoiding the "you can't do that!" people. Unless it's against the law or physically impossible, of course I can Do That.

Comments (3)

Steve H. too?

I guess this means I'm honor bound (kiss pinky knuckle) to also wax eloquent on the subject of risk.

Eh, we'll see what happens once I get a few more beers down.

Crap. My life is like one long series of risks. Quit this to do that. Stop that to try this. Move this to make room for that. Leave here to go there. Depart there to arrive here.

Damn. Still no brass ring. No patooties. No fabulous fortunes won and lost.

But experiences ...ah, I am rich with experiences. And I'm not dead yet; there's time for a few more.

Sometimes I wonder who got the better of the exchange though: Big Foss or Little Halsey? Not that it would've made a damn bit of difference in my choices (even the truly execrable & lamentable ones).

It's just life. The only thing you can rest assured of is that it will end; might as well make use of it while you can.

...my two bits.

Steve Skubinna [TypeKey Profile Page]:

I suppose my life might be considered to have its share of risks. For the past four years I have worked aboard ammunition ships. I have two potentially high risk hobbies (SCUBA diving and shooting). My job requires me to maintain firearms qualifications and carry a gun. I work on the flight dekc during helo operations, suit out for fire and emergency drills, and work on underway replenishment stations. I've never really considered them as risks in siolation though, they are just background to something I enjoy doing.

And of course, none of them are indulged simply for a thrill. Risks inherent are evaluated and managed.

But then, I have never been interested in doing something only for a thrill. Bungee jumping for example, strikes me as a completely pointless undertaking, a situation of apparent risk carefully controlled and indulged solely to get a rush. In effect, it's the appearance of risk in a carefully managed environment.

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Don't worry, he's just chopping broccoli.


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