Calculated Risks in Life

Since I had three days to kill at The Park, I decided to phone home (like ET). I Skyped with my mom and reported that I’d gone white-water rafting (with the sledging thrown in for free) and skydiving. Her reaction?

“Stop doing crazy things,” she said.

Personally, I don’t think I did anything crazy at all. In fact, I probably put more thought into it than many other things in my life. I weighed the risks against my desire to do them. I assessed the cost (both monetary and personal) and decided to go for it. It was a calculated risk, not a spontaneous action.

On the other hand, my life in the real and everyday world was not like this. At home, I aimlessly pursued jobs that both fit my skill set and would result in some kind of monetary compensation. Each job I took was unique and allowed me to earn slightly more than the last one.

Aside from this, I didn’t put much thought toward a future or career. I didn’t set goals for myself or reflect on my progress each year. As many people do, I simply lived day-to-day without really taking any steps to connect my daily life with the bigger picture. No assessments or cost-benefit analysis was done. I just did it because it’s what everyone else does and is the right thing to do. But, was it the right thing for me?

Now I realize that life doesn’t have to be so serious all the time, and you don’t necessarily need to follow the well-worn path of those before you. You can blaze your own trail and things can still turn out fine in the end. The world isn’t going to stop because you decided to go a different path than the rest of the people you know. In fact, sometimes going it alone is more satisfying than traveling the same path as everyone else.

Funnily enough, this realization hasn’t made life easier. I still don’t know what I want to do, who I want to be or where I want to go. But at least now I’m asking the questions, which is a good start to finding out the answers.



Filed under New Zealand, Personal, Travel

6 responses to “Calculated Risks in Life

  1. Aunty Suzanne

    I’m 60…I still don’t know what I want to do when I’m grown up. Keep blazing new trails! Who knows what you’ll discover! Hauoli Makahiki Hou!

  2. hemajang

    I’m older than above and will be retiring in a year or so and it has been fun tracking and admiring your adventures from afar. I would have never gone on such sojourn in my youth..not in my disposition. However, I also find that free spirit, willingness to explore and ponder the universe qualities that will enhance your life. Your choices may be calculated risks in your mind but the decision to pull the trigger is what separates you from most. Very nice piece and never knew there was such a word as “funnily”…I’ll keep it in my “Words with Friends” vocabulary, I already used “weka” from your previous post…ha!

  3. KT

    Oh how insightful you are, Dorian! My mother would have said the same thing to me, but i think that’s just one of those things that Moms say without really thinking. You’re allowed to ignore it and do your own thing. Stay true to you! –KT (the rebel in my family)

  4. A. Sanj

    You go girl! Ignore what people say. You have no responsibilities now, so take advantage of that. I always said I met Uncle too early and he cramped my style, LOL

    BTW: not to scare you but how horrible for those people who burned alive in that hot air balloon, but then again if it’s your time…

  5. @hema – glad to know someone’s benefiting from this blog lol

    @A. Sanj – despite the tragedy, hot air balooning is still on my bucket list. just need to pick a location.

  6. weeboopiper

    You’ve been doing amazing stuff. Keep looking to the horizon and be true to yourself.

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