I have always been great at finagling my way into taking “cushy risks.” You know what I’m talking about – when it looks like you’re doing something crazy, but you really have your act tougher. Like when I moved from New York to Austin: I had a job lined up, plenty of savings and a family who’d welcome me home if need be. It was thrilling, but not that risky.
So after years of keeping things pretty cushy, it was time for the next step. I wanted to take on my ultimate fear – failure – by going out on my own.
And it scared the shit out of me.
Quit my job? Unstable income? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I was so afraid everything would come crumbling down, but I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I went back and forth for months over what to do.
Those indecisive months were like all the summer afternoons I went cliff diving with friends. I am scared to death of heights and drowning (winning combination for cliff diving, eh?), but for some reason, I always wanted to give it a shot.
I’d climb up to the cliff and stand there. Just stand there. Every few minutes I’d lunge toward the ledge – then my heart would drop. Gasp. Omg. Not happening. Step back. 10, 20, 30 minutes would go by, with friends shouting at me, “JUST GO, JESS.” “Okay, okay. I will… soon…”
When you finally jump, though, the adrenaline kicks in, and it is so worth it.