“What is your risk tolerance?” asked my friend when I told him what we were doing.
I’ve never thought of myself as a risk-taker.
Two years ago this week, Tom and I flew from Dallas to Beaufort to look for a house to lease. (We thought it would be for a few months; that changed, but that’s another story for another day.) Our home in Dallas — the home we loved, our sweet little perfect house in the perfect neighborhood, our home — was under contract. We hadn’t put it on the market, but a buyer appeared – out of the blue! – and wanted it. I interpreted that as a sign.
Sure, I said. Yes, please buy our house – we’re off on an adventure. It will all work out!
We arrived in Beaufort shortly after Hurricane Matthew’s visit, and had exactly zero luck finding a place to lease. (Ok, we couldn’t find a place that wanted a big dog. And we wanted to keep the dog.) People who had been displaced because of the storm were in all the rental properties, and when we saw houses that had been crushed by trees, and so much far-flung damage we confessed our dilemma was minor compared to the challenges faced by so many others.
Still, we needed a place to live. We returned to Dallas without one. It will all work out, we told ourselves.
We got a call from a realtor friend in SC. He had a listing that turned into a rental property and if we could decide right away, he could secure it for us. We signed, sight unseen. It will all work out, we said.
There have been some bumpy, challenging, scary moments along the way, but you know what? It’s been an adventure, and we chased our dream, and it’s all worked out.
Ok, most of it has worked out.
As Wayne Gretzky famously said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” We took a lot of shots. Most of them have worked out.
But here’s the thing. I’ve learned it doesn’t matter so much if it all works out. The view from the edge is magic and magnificent. What matters – to me anyway – is pursuing the goal, stretching, learning, trying something so big and bold and beautiful that it might not work out.
Mary Oliver says it this way:
Oh, dear ones, when you feel your beautiful creative power moving and yearning within you, please, oh please nurture it and cultivate it and woo it and dance with it! Give it the very best of your power and your time.
Give it your heart.
*“Life begins on the edge of your comfort zone.” – attributed to Neale Donald Walsch, author of Conversations with God. Mug credit: Debra Hobbs Mason