ON RISKS

“There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask ‘What if I fall?’
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?”

Erin Hanson

Have you ever been in a situation in which you felt stuck and sensed some unfairness, be it a lifestyle routine or a job position? For instance, when one finds themselves in a work environment in which they feel undervalued and quite disrespected, yet remain dubious about deciding whether or not to quit abruptly in hope of landing somewhere healthier.  Did the option of escaping it seem harder to achieve and less bearable than the thought of trying to get over it, to get used to it?

Having gone through that exact position several times myself, I have always perceived the latter as a faint-hearted decision. However, it has not been without difficulty that I have able to come to that conclusion. Learning to take risks is not an easily achievable task. It takes time, effort, and practice. It does thus require a certain dose of fearlessness, and in certain cases a well-developed intuition.

Risk is a gamble that can occur in varied areas of life, from the tiniest, most random to the greatest, most meaningful life event. It is taking a chance, regardless of the status quo. It is taking the leap, regardless of the likelihood of instability and insecurity. It is fighting against any plausible regret and having faith in unpredictability.

Oftentimes, if the cards are played right, the outcome will result in the shape of a reward. For, indeed, even nowadays in our ever-changing society, the strength to stand up for your rights and dignity is not as common as it may sound. This is why it is so common to stumble across the countless and similar stories of people in their forties going through existential crises for having settled in a life where their hearts were never really in.

“So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?”

— Hunter S. Thompson

***

Furthermore, taking risks does not necessarily mean diving into the complete unknown. For, having a back-up plan according to the situation may be moral-boosting support, if not a crucial safety net to hold on to.

It is only by pushing our boundaries that we get to live new experiences, that we grasp who we truly are within, that we learn and that we grow. Staying in our comfort zones in edgy circumstances is, in fact, the trap we oftentimes fall into.  Of course, there will be failures on the road, times when we got overexcited, and end up in unforeseen affairs. Yet, failure entails a twice more important lesson than a risk that ends in soundness.

Being able to believe in uncertainty means also being ready to accept new challenges, defy the odds, and shoot for the magical and surprising wonders that life holds. Believing is emboldening. Believing is receiving, one way or the other.

Personally, I’d rather choose the path less traveled.

what’s the greatest risk you’ve dared taking?

Better than this. Evie Irie.

ON POSITIVITY

“That’s the way life works: gratitude and appreciation just bring more goodness. Remember: Everything we give out comes back. Gratitude has all sorts of little, surprising rewards.”

Louise Hay

It was around 2003, I was five years old when my mother got diagnosed with a cancerous tumor. Did I know it at the time? How did my parents break the news to me and my sisters? I cannot recall. But as the disease came round again a few times during my childhood and teenage years, I grew to be more aware of it and all that it entailed. Along with additional tough experiences that my family and I had to go through, as well as my own struggle to fit in at school, I shall admit that these were not serene circumstances to grow up in. 

For a long time, because I had endured several hardships through the years, I believed that positivity was a character trait that had never left me. Certainly, the many struggles I have known have strengthened me and did make me evolve on a personal level faster than the average. Yet, the fact that I always held on to hope and looked forward to a brighter future does not mean that I had a positive mindset, although I did have a positive outlook on life. I prided myself on being optimistic whilst I was carrying anger. I believed in something better, however I was bitter, at times easily irritable and even jealous. I was wondering how many more battles I would have to fight. 

***

The epiphany came up as I realized that I was indeed strong, surviving and always persevering no matter how hard life hit me but positive didn’t seem to be an accurate label anymore. I began questioning myself. I had always thought that I was a very generous person, but could I be more kind to people? Yes, of course. One is never too kind. 

With a brand-new lifestyle, I took some drastic changes of mindset recently. I chose to welcome each new day with open arms. I chose to believe, more intensely than ever, that something good was about to occur, that each day was going to be filled with opportunities. That each day brings an opportunity to fulfill me, my being and my soul. I chose to start again with my gratitude jar, urging myself to write one note per day, however tiny it is. This is how I started noticing it. 

BCN, Jan. 2020, GC

It is the power of attraction. The more open one is, the more signs the Universe sends your way. It is about shifting the focus. It is questioning whether or not you were actually in the right mindset before. And in fact, it is not an easy task to admit that you were wrong, that you were not exactly the person you proclaimed to be. 

***

Positivity is a more tricky subject to dwell on that one might think. For it is not burying all the troubles we face in our daily life and pretending like everything is alright, which is something I used to believe when I was younger, but that is defined as denial. It is not either accepting it as a normal occurrence as if everyone else endures it too, for even though we can relate to each other’s stories, we haven’t undergone these similarities in the same way and our story is evermore unique. 

“Be mindful. Be grateful. Be positive. Be true. Be kind.”

Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

On the other hand, being positive about our battles signifies not being ashamed at all, either of it or of expressing it. Throughout middle and high school, I came to find it very difficult to bottle up all of my worries and insecurities because I had no one to confide in. Afterwards, I started writing everything down and shared it in the open space. I needed to share what I was going through. I needed someone to hear and know my story, for I am only human after all, seeking affection and support too. To a certain extent, I believed that I was going too far and it occurred to me that I may have been oversharing. I felt guilty. Guilty to make it a little too much about me and about trying to share a lesson I felt not entitled to share because of my young age. And yet, this is all what defines negativity. I still firmly believe that one is free of doing and being anything they want. Thus, I came up to the conclusion that I was merely being fully authentic with myself and others. And therefore I kept on writing, for honesty is being oneself.

All in all, positivity is being mindful. It means acknowledging the tough times and being aware that we will make it through. Flawless and perfect do not define positivity, for one has to agree that nothing in life ever truly is. Positivity is recognizing any wrongdoings you might have and knowing that it is alright. Positivity is believing still.  

Toujours debout. Renaud.

what does being positive mean to you?