When I was 14 I went to the Exploration Summer Program at Wellesley College. I went when I was 13 too, one of the very first Intermediate program attendees, thankyouverymuch. But the summer I was 14, I took a course called Risk. It was focused on, well, taking risks. Up until this time in my life I was not a big risk taker at all - I was much more comfortable playing it safe. But it was in this summer program, and more specifically in this class, where I realized how valuable it is to take risks in life.
The risks in the class were not huge ones - we were blindfolded and led around campus. We heard water near us. Our instructor, Stuie, said if we trusted him, take a big step forward. Some stepped. Some didn't. I stepped. And I didn't fall into the water. That's the kind of stuff we did. We pushed ourselves, then asked ourselves why we made the decisions we made. It was really wonderful. The home I came from had its' share of anxiety within its' walls, so a class like this that challenged me, and made me uncomfortable, and scared me, and rewarded me, and was just what I needed.
I find that in my adulthood, the risks I take are bigger. I invest myself more into them. Usually they are worthwhile. Every now and then, I fall on my face. Or sometimes, not often, I'm tripped up by someone or something else, and fall on my face. It's during these times that it is most important for me to get back up. That's hard. When I'm hurt, I hurt a lot. I put myself all out there, and when it goes bad it shakes me to my core. It is also during these times, just like during my Risk class, that it's most important to figure out what I get out of it, and what it has taught me.
So I'm standing up tall, happy with who I am, and proud of what I stand for. In many ways I am much stronger, and in every way I go forward with more wisdom. I'm sure I'll fall down again, but it's worth the risk.