Playing it Safe
Our parents spend a lot of time and energy making sure us kids (grown up or otherwise) are safe. My mom has literally spent years of her life worrying about whether I would be okay or not. Making sure I had a way to get home from school, wearing knee pads, buying me a cell phone, encouraging me to study, putting me in driver’s education, holding my hand, etc. etc. etc. From the big to the small, the obvious to the obscure, my mom has thought of it all. She’s taken her own experience and analyzed it from several angles just to make sure that I would not get hurt, not die, not be in pain and in general not make a bunch of horrible mistakes with my life. She wants me to be safe, she wants me to be happy.
As I ate my breakfast this morning, I began thinking about how many times my mother has advocated for my physical, mental and emotional safety and out of how many of those times I have directly challenged her better judgment. To be fair, my mom is not the overbearing type. She’s always had my best interests at heart, but has always given me a lot of freedom, especially when my friends were all being smothered, to make my own decisions and carve my own path – for better or worse.
All the roads of my life have always brought me to where I am at any given moment and this morning I couldn’t help but think about how all of my superiors have always spent so much time encouraging me to make safe decisions and invest in the conservative options and how one way or another I have managed to absolutely not do that. I am not one of those people who is “playing it safe.”
Like the time that my high school english teacher told me a degree in journalism would be useless and I ought to go to school for marketing. Or last week when my friend told me her boss said that design careers aren’t a superior choice, but business related careers are the way to go. Or when my mom told me that Spanish would be the most marketable foreign language I could take. Or when my grandparents acted like I’d lost my effing mind when I began getting tattoos.
Some people really play it safe and I’m just not one of those people.
I could be sitting in an office in suburban Denver today, dressed to the nines in slacks and a turleneck that covers up my tattoos, fiddling about in a spreadsheet, reflecting on a meeting where none of my superiors took me seriously because I have a nose ring. I could be getting my graduate degree in international business and saving my pennies to buy my first house. I’m not though and I have a crazy life with crazy hours and I am not working a traditional job and I’m scared about money and I don’t always stop working at 5pm and I’m taking chances and throwing out the rule book and I am not studying business because I find it boring and I’m my own boss and that means I have to work even harder than most and I am the happiest I have been in a long time.