As someone who’s spent an insufferable number of hours mulling over scary life decisions with friends in small spaces (cars, bathrooms, converted living rooms), I have many well-worn opinions on RISK. Namely, how hard it is to take important ones, how boring it is to avert foolish ones, and how maddening it is to parse the difference between the two.
I wish I could say all the hand-wringing gave me clarity in the form of some over-the-counter universal truth like, “Do what scares you,” instead of prescription-required gems like, “People need different stuff,” which looks less adorable on cross-stitched pillows, but has proved far more true in my experience.
Different people need different stuff at different times for different reasons. That makes risk-assessment (and any advice on the matter) a tricky business. I once claimed that the only enemy is apathy, but even that’s not true. Plenty of people could use a dose of apathy! (Like my roommate’s poodle, who is jumping all over me right now.) The makings of “good” decisions are amorphous blobs until you’ve made them — and then they might turn on you anyway. That life must be played by ear is one of the most terrifying and comforting lessons I’ve had the pleasure of learning 10 million times.
All this is to say (what am I saying?), I ask you the following questions with a hearty dose of who really fucking knows, and, in honor of Risk Month, I’d like you to use them as choose-your-own-adventure prompts for this month’s round of MR Writers Club.
What’s a risk you took that you regret taking?
What’s a risk that you’re glad you didn’t take?
What a risk you wish you took?
What’s a risk you hope you take this year?
Respond to any or all in 500 words or less, and send your answer to write [at] manrepeller [dot] com with the subject line “MR Writers Club” by Tuesday, January 30th at 12 p.m. EST.
See you in February.
Feature photo by Patrick Demarchelier/Conde Nast by Getty Images.