I'm not a very courageous person physically. I'm afraid of heights, I don't ski, I can't imagine myself camping or hiking alone, I get nervous even thinking about rollerskating or god forbid bungee jumping. :^)
But I do think I have emotional courage. I rail at injustice and speak my mind when something seems unfair. I've given speeches in front of hundreds of people and I've made presentations even with my knees knocking. I can sit with and help people who are in pain and who have experienced tremendous loss. I usually let people I care about know if I'm upset or concerned about something and I don't use email when I know a face to face talk is needed.
I welcome adventure and change even when I don't want it.
But, In the last several years, I learned that there is a line where adventure can become recklessness. I'm still trying to figure out some of my decisions, ones where I gambled most of my emotional poker chips and perhaps risked too much.
Have you made choices that bordered on reckless and if so why did you? I'd like to know I'm not alone and I'm fascinated by what makes a person step out and go for broke without a safety net.
And while we're on this subject, if you have the interest or time, more from my new novel:
It had been a little slice of danger from the start. Whatever is exhilarating is also risky, kind of like riding a roller coaster with your hands above your head and your feet so casually placed they won’t help you brace, especially during that first long wild dip, when your hair flies behind you at lightening speed and you can barely hear your own screams because they are folded into the thrill of the collective scream, all the way down, until you level out waiting for the next rapid rise and fall.
True, there is a steel bar across your lap that holds you to the seat, makes sure gravity will not pick you up and throw you into mid air and sudden death, but let’s face it: you want to ride that roller coaster that way—reckless and reflectively—and you hand over a piece of yourself without knowing the ropes, the same as if you choose a back country trail without provisions or a map, You do it that way and you’re taking your chances that you’ll know what to do when the danger rush comes flying at you, when there’s no time to think and certainly no time to plan.
You know in general, it makes more sense to size things up, take your time and venture slowly, get familiar with what you know and what you don’t. You know it’s better to not be surprised when you are not prepared, to keep the rope tight, to drop Hansel and Gretel corn kernels behind you so the path stays familiar, but then again when you know your way, you’re not surprised, and when you’re not surprised, you’re not deep in the thrill and when that happens the rush of the ride that’s lost to you is not exactly small.