I am not a risk taker. This is my truth. I have tried to be a risk-taker on a few occasions and they always landed on the side of “less than awesome” and more than once it was a god-awful experience.
That is not to say that I haven’t engaged in some terribly risky behavior. But there is a difference between doing something stupid and impetuous and taking a calculated risk. Stupid, I can do. Calculated is apparently not so much of my forté.
Of course, I was better at being calculated and risk-taking back in the days when I didn’t care if I walked the tightrope of life without a net. But now I’m not alone in this venture and I worry about how my actions will impact folks I love.
I worry these days about everything. And I worry about how me being me will affect others. How will my living fully affect my husband and kids? How do I be the best me without hurting others? There’s a lot of worry going on in my head most times.
These are all truths about me.
So why do I bring this up? Well, I love to cook. And I love to tell stories and talk to people. And Mister Soandso is always looking out for ways for me to be the happiest I can be.
The problem is that I’m not a risk-taker.
Last year I did something that was so much dang fun I almost couldn’t stand it. A former co-worker of Mister Soandso held an auction to benefit a women’s organization in Uganda and I put together an auction item: a meal for 8 that I prepared at the winner’s home and Mister Soandso served it.
For weeks I schemed over the menu with the winner. (There isn’t much I like more than reading cook books and cooking sites.) I was in my element. I had a great time and the diners loved their meal.
The whole drive home Mister Soandso tried to convince me to consider making it a business. And while I love the idea of doing something along those lines, there is no way I will do it. Too many risks involved.
This morning he texted me that a cooking “school” in Cannon Beach has ways for folks to create a similar situation in their hometowns. Again, Mister Soandso is trying to convince me to consider doing it. And there is no way I will do it. (If you’ve never gone to EEVO in Cannon Beach, you might consider it…especially if you are at all interested in eating good food.)
Do I love to cook? Absolutely. Am I good at it? Yep. Have I said that if money was no object would I go to culinary school? More than once. Would my guests learn how to prepare a fabulous meal? Oh yeah. Would I be funny and entertaining and make them laugh? Well, I was a pretty funny comedian back in my stand-up days. Do I love telling stories more than just about anything else? Yep.
But there is no way in hell that I will do this, even if Mister Soandso is right and that it would be a dream experience for me.
Because the risks are great and the reward is unknown and the worry is real.
These are my truths…that I have spent years missing out on opportunities because I am plagued by worry. I have spent my lifetime playing it mostly safe because I am scared of being hurt again. And I am an Olympic-Gold contender at rationalizing away my aspirations.
Years ago Mister Soandso pushed me to get my Masters and become a teacher. It was a risk but one that made so much sense to me. It made sense because I KNEW I am a good student. I knew that I have the academic chops to make that investment pay off. Yes we went in debt for me to take that risk. But truthfully, it was a smart risk.
If I knew I could run my own cooking business, if I knew it would work and not be a disastrous idea, I’d calculate the risks and maybe do it. But I don’t know if I can do it. I don’t know if anybody would make the leap from “you’d be great at that Kristina” to “I would love to come to dinner, here’s my credit card information.”
Because being raised in poverty taught me that there is a big difference between standing on the sidelines and cheering someone on, and actually putting some cash on the line.
Today, there are 3 additional lives riding on my risks. 3 people who are looking at college and dreams of their own in 3-10 years. 3 people who I said I would help get the best start in life as possible. 3 people I gave precedent to that first moment I held them. And truthfully, I have made peace with letting my 3 children take precedent for a few more years.
But the truth is also this…I would be a really great storytelling chef at small dinner parties.
I totally rock a chef’s apron. And that’s the truth.