She moves cautiously when it comes to matters of the heart
leaps with wild abandon while in pursuit of life’s significance.
Growing up the way I did, with the family I did, in the house I did my growing up in, I was anything but a risk taker.
I was the quiet child, the well-behaved child, and the family peace-maker.
I was the kid who didn’t step on the cracks or lines, for fear of breaking backs or spines.
Always did what was expected of me and followed the path that was laid out by my parents for me to follow.
Most of my risk taking has involved my career or financial well-being.
Following my accident, I went back to work for a brief period of time, and then when my ex husband sold the house we owned and I got my half of the proceeds, I chose to go back to school, which was pretty risky.
Incredibly risky, in fact.
I was the sole financial provider for my sons, and would be cutting our finances in half. If we could live on half of what we were accustomed to living on, I could pay my tuition, and cover our living expenses for the time it would take me to complete my studies.
I had a budget and would have to stick to it absolutely in order for us to get through it. Knowing not a thing about budgets and how to prepare them, I didn’t know to make sure I had contingency plans in place if there was anything that arose, such as blown transmissions, or increases in the price of gasoline. I don’t think I even had anything set aside for clothing or medications. I just made the decision, after worrying it around and around in my brain, and I jumped.
It was never easy but I still cannot believe how fast it all went by and then I was finished!
We had a few bumps in the road – once they cut my electricity 2 days before I got my monthly student funding, and we used the barbecue and showered during the daylight hours. We all went to the library during the evenings to do our homework and use computers, and I surely didn’t have enough extra food in the fridge those days to worry much about spoiling! Coolers full of ice kept what we had safe.
When I think back to those few days, it almost makes me feel sick, but both my sons have joked about how we are survivors and how I can cook anything on a barbecue, so I am hoping the trauma is at a minimum for them.
Once my schooling was over, I took the first position I found, even though I was far from qualified for it. It meant I had to get up at 3:30 every morning and take a train (of all things!!) to a hospital far, far away from my home, in order to start by 6. I worked in that position and also took another position that I would go to afterward from 4-10 at night.
I did that for 3 months until I felt “safe” again financially. The second position eventually offered me full time work and that led me to yet another position, on the recommendation of nurses I worked with.
I hopped about in that fashion for the next 3 years, steadily increasing my salary and being recommended by doctors and nurses I worked with for better and better positions.
Positions I had no business applying for. Positions meant for folks far, far more intelligent and experienced than I was at that point in time.
I have always been a quick learner, and I watch people and how they do things. It’s how I learn best, and I used that to my full advantage during those years. I took positions that I knew I was capable of doing at some point, but would have to fake it till I made it.
Being risky and taking chances without the fear of failure has allowed me to grow my personal network and to achieve the things that I have during my career.
It was also a great example to show my sons, as they have both taken some gnarly risks career-wise, but have landed well!