Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Risking It

The first day of school.

Starting a new job.

Before every vacation, whether to Ireland or visiting friends the next state over.

Moving to a new state.

Going to a work conference.

Before I took my social work licensure exams.

Studying for my certification in thanatology.


In all of these situations, there's been a moment where I think I should just back out.  I may have been looking forward to hiking the Grand Canyon for months but the night before I leave, I envision what could go wrong and try to calculate how much money I'd lose if I cancelled my reservations.  Then I get over myself and take the trip and am reminded of how much I love to travel.

I never had a choice to not go to school but I was always so nervous before the start of a new year that I had to give myself a pep talk.  The worst nerves accompanied my transition from private Christian grammar school to public high school.  It took a couple of months before I stopped begging my parents to let me go to the private Christian high school and started realizing I actually had a good thing going at this new school.

Before I left for a mission trip to Ecuador, I was convinced that I was going to die while I was there.  I updated my living will and hugged my parents extra tight when I said goodbye.  Thankfully I survived, despite getting motion sickness on a bus winding through mountain switchbacks.  I did a lot of growing up that trip, as well as eating delicious food, petting a puma, and crossing into Peru via river.

Almost every important test I take, I'm convinced that I'm going to fail.  That may be part of the reason I only applied to social work graduate schools that didn't require the GRE.  My goal became to simply pass.  And guess what?  I have each and every time.

I don't think of myself as a courageous person.  I don't think of myself as an anxious person either. 

I acknowledge my fears and then decide whether I'll let them stop me or not.  Risk vs. reward.  I've found that the risk is almost always worth it because at the very least, I'm not left guessing the outcome.

If I listened to my fears every time, I'd never have applied to my long-shot schools or dream jobs.  I'd never have volunteered with a non-profit in Thailand.  I'd never have moved away from my family.  I'd have missed out on so many of the things that make me me.  I'd have missed out on the chance to see God show up in ways that are big and small.

That's why I'm choosing to go to Blissdom in spite of the butterflies, in spite of fears that I'll have no one to talk to or that my blogger friends won't like the real life me.  The reward of possible connections, new friends, and a wealth of knowledge will be worth it. 

Here I am, world.


  1. oh Leah! I hope you are having more fun than you even imagined! I wish I were there to meet the "real" you :-). Can't wait to hear all about it my friend!

  2. So glad you came. I sooo had those butterflies too and this has been so worth it!


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