The things you regret most are the risks you don’t take

When I was younger, I loved writing and I was really good at it. My favorite class in high school was creative writing. It had very limited availability and everyone wanted to get in. Maybe because it was an easy A, maybe because the teacher was “so cool,” but I think for a lot of kids, it was the writing on the wall.

No. Really. At the end of the year, each student in creative writing was allowed to paint one brick of the cement wall with a quote. It was a way to leave our mark on the place we’d spent the last four years before leaving forever.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I spent months trying to decide what I wanted my legacy to be, what I wanted to leave behind for everyone who would come after me.

At that time, I had no idea what my future looked like. In a few months, I would be getting married, moving out of my parents’ house and starting college. I could feel the judgement from some people when I told them my plans for summer included my wedding. It was a huge risk, but I knew it was what I wanted.

Interestingly, I feel more connected to who I was that year than I ever have. During my senior year in high school, I had shed so many insecurities, I knew who I was and I was really happy.

I’m finding myself again, after years of being consumed with motherhood, I’m discovering things I love and walking away from the things I don’t.

I’ve been taking small, calculated risks over the last two years. Each one a little bigger than the last. I’m confident in myself enough to take these because failing will only set me back a few steps.

But I’m about to take an even bigger risk. I’m about to make an investment in myself, in a plan where success lies entirely on me.

And I’m worried.

I could fail.

This is the first time in more than ten years that I’m really taking a chance. I need to believe that I can succeed, but the doubts keep piling up.

The market is saturated.

You’re a tiny fish in a really, really big pond.

You’re not going to be good enough.

Why would anyone choose your product?

Do you even have time for this?

And in the midst of this panic, I thought of the day I walked out of the creative writing class for the final time.

While everyone else was commenting on each new brick on the walls, I was looking at the ceiling tile in the center of the room.

“If no one ever took risks, Michelangelo would have painted the Sistine Floor.”

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