A friend asked me the other day what I thought about her making the move from the West to East Coast. Providing, what I thought to be, logical advice, I suggested paying off debt, saving a few dollars and finding a place to live before taking the leap. All wise decisions, none of which were things implemented when I moved to the East Coast. In fact, the overall risk taking in my life is at an all time low.
At age eighteen, I was evicted from a bar in Pennsylvania because I refused to pull up my pants. Underwear covered the goods, but my jeans were around my ankles and I was working the pole to the best of my abilities. In contrast, my “date” last night, tried to put his hand down the front of my pants. I calmly stopped the frisking, finished my drink and made my way to a cab.
At twenty-one, my best friend helped me achieve alcohol poisoning. This resulted in me jumping from a moving vehicle, it wasn’t going all that fast, laying on the sidewalk of a park often frequented by homeless. Vomiting all across said park, vomiting in the ladies room of a straight bar, vomiting in a car, and eventually blacking out on a random sofa while being checked every so often to ensure I wasn’t choking on vomit or anything else. Now, I’m happy to have a few drinks and go to bed.
At twenty-two, I packed my car with as many possessions as would fit, hugged my friends and family, leaving everything for the big-city-life I craved. This the biggest risk I’ve ever taken; two-hundred dollars in my pocket, no place to live and no real plan. I was just taking the leap and hoping things would somehow come together.
Seven years later, things have come together and I’ve become comfortable in my life. Now, the smallest things are causing unparalleled fear and anxiety. After living in one apartment for three years, I have to move. It’s like the rug has been pulled from under me, even though I had to do the pulling, and the uncertainty that once drove me to try harder, work harder, now makes me apprehensive. My apartment is the one thing that’s mine and letting it go, even if the next apartment is better, reminds me of being twenty-two and having no idea what’s going to happen, where I’m going or how to get there.
So, should my friend take the risk and move? Yes. Could I do the same thing today? I’m not sure I have the bravery left in me to take the giant life leaps that were once no question. With age they say comes wisdom, but I’m beginning to wonder if the only thing that comes with age is more fear and less risks.