There are many things in life I didn’t think about before doing. When I met my husband, it never occurred to me to weigh the options of marrying him. It seemed like it was the thing to do, not even a choice. I didn’t think too hard about having kids, it was just something that life brought me. The Air Force sent us to Japan, and I didn’t think twice, I just got on the plane. Maybe I should have thought a little more, but I just did it.
It seems as though there are always things you shouldn’t do without careful consideration and thought. Somehow I seem to have missed out on the memo for these things. I never looked, I just leapt. So far, I haven’t regretted anything. Luckily enough, I have had a net to catch me each time. It doesn’t mean I’ve never been hurt. Sometimes the net seems more like a throw pillow; just enough to soften the blow a little, but not enough to avoid something breaking.
In recent years I have found myself looking for the safety net more frequently, but not always when it would seem most prudent. When driving I find myself creating new rituals to create a feeling of safety. For example, I have become particular about my parking habits; I now only park on the left side of the parking lot, and will be willing to walk a much longer distance in order to have a parking spot away from other cars. Additionally I will find myself very irritated if someone parks next to me. I have not been in an accident. And my car is not so nice as to warrant the special treatment. I have simply turned into someone who needs the safety net as I park.
However, in other areas, I still do not look before I jump. I am trying to publish a book right now and writing a blog. Why do I think anyone wants to listen to me ramble on? These are prospects that are not necessarily easy to accomplish. Let’s be honest; I want agents and publishers to read a book I am too scared to share with most of my friends and family. These people I am frightened to share with are people who like me. Some of them are contractually obligated though a shared genetic code to make me feel better about my own ridiculousness. Sure, those I have shared with have been supportive, and have told me my writing is good, but again, they like me. Agents don’t have to care about my feelings, and they don’t necessarily like me. Yet somehow, I’m jumping into the unknown, sure that somehow things will work out all right, as they usually do.
How can I leap without a thought from the edge of a cliff, yet hesitate to take the tiny step off my porch? How does it make sense to think less with the larger risk? What in the world makes me think this is normal?
I suppose, in truth, I know it is not normal. I have ranted here, discussing how unusual I find this phenomenon to be. On some level I know things are not as they should be. And yet, this is exactly as things should be.
I take a risk, jumping into the unknown for something I want more than anything else, while calculating the risks I can avoid in other areas. Maybe I have stopped leaping for the little things. So I walk a little farther to the grocery store, avoiding the challenge of difficult parking so that I can focus on the larger issues. Or maybe a part of me is finally learning the importance of self-preservation, trying to cut out a few tumbles. Either way, I am still taking the leaps; does it matter if I am looking first?