Structure, certainty, routine. Just writing these words fills me with dread. I guess you could say I’ve always been somewhat of a free spirit, but recently my thirst for adventure has been so insatiable that I fear I’m in the midst of some sort of quarter-life crisis (two years early mind, I’m only 23). Or, on the other hand, is it possible that this is just who I am and who I always will be? That no matter what I do, there’ll always be something coaxing me away from the mundane feel of everyday life? You know what, I hope so. The desire to seek out adventure is not a bad thing, quite the contrary and here’s why.
Seven months ago I quit my job, packed as much as I could into one suitcase and moved halfway across the world. Canada beckoned and I couldn’t resist, but I won’t deny that it was scary. My god, it was scary. Countries that we Brits perceive as having a culture close to our own, are quite often more vastly different than we could ever have imagined. Sometimes the simple fact that no one has heard of your favourite dessert is enough to throw you off balance (true story), but then there’s the pay offs of living somewhere new, meeting people who are eager to teach you, share in your experiences and ask questions about where you’re from. Once I’d marvelled at the vastness, the beauty and the difference of where I’d ended up, I was glad I’d followed my gut.
That’s what got me thinking about risk-tasking.
The fact is, I took a risk when I quit my job. As far as I’m concerned, taking that risk was the right decision and yet so many people have told me how brave I was for having taken it. I don’t feel brave at all. I followed my instinct, without feeling like I had much of a choice in the matter. Why is it then that so many people choose to actively ignore their instinct, when that instinct involves taking a risk? I get it, human nature, right? We’re not all that comfortable with uncertainty, but really though, how much more fulfilled would we all be if we just followed that gut feeling? What if we went after our dreams, without fearing the consequences? In trying, we open ourselves up to the possibility of failure, but equally likely, is that everything will turn out exactly as we’d hoped. That alone should entice us enough to give it a go.
If you believe you could start your own business, then you should start your own business. Itching to write your first novel? DO IT. Maybe no one will read it, but then again maybe they will. Fed up with your surroundings? Move. I promise, you’ll be fine. But if you’re not, at least you’ll have no regrets.
What are your thoughts on taking risks in order to follow your dreams? Are you as care-free as I am when it comes to gut instinct?