Friday, July 20, 2012

On Risk Taking and Other Misadventures

worth it
Sometimes life is scary. It is, I know. And I'm sorry for that, but it's the god honest truth. I am scared, a lot of the time, for the future, for the present, and sometimes, I even get a little scared about my past. I am prone to safety. I over-think, plan, worry, and err on the side of caution. It's in my blood, I suppose. But starting a business, quitting our day jobs, moving 3000 miles away to a new place, waking up every goddamn morning, my life has become this domino train of risks. And I am thankful for it.
I often compare taking risks with buying an expired pack of film. When I was in school, we used to shoot a lot of 16mm expired film. It was risky putting that much time and effort into shooting and not knowing whether or not it was going to turn out. If it did turn out, it was usually beautiful and wild, unpredictably pretty and gritty in the same frame. If it didn't turn out, I bet you everything I own we learned something while shooting and it was never a waste. I don't shoot film anymore, but I do still buy expired packs of polaroid film when I get the chance. It's usually $5 or $10 and sometimes it works, and sometimes the film just doesn't develop. Was it a waste of time? Do I ever regret taking the risk? Never.  
the film
Owning a small (mostly online) business is risky. We take peoples money and hope they love what they bought. I can't tell you how many times I have bought something on line and upon receiving it in the mail, it being nothing what I expected. Not in a really bad way, but in a risky way. We take so many risks, on a daily basis, and even the tiniest risks can have the most profound effect. I am learning to expect the unexpected and do everything I can to not let an unrewarded risk get the best of me. Life is full of risks, and whether they pan out to be good or bad, they are still a tick in the timeline of you. Can you imagine not taking that risk? Can you think of a time where maybe you should have leaped instead of cowered and is it too late? It doesn't just apply to owning a business, but to love and friendship and really, the fate of your happiness hangs upon the hinges of risk. Falling in love, the biggest and most rewarding (or painful) risk of them all. Deciding to expand your family (or not,) deciding to email that blogger who you think would make a great friend, wearing that dress you love but feel ugly in, buying a plane ticket for that trip that will change you life. They are all risks. And I, for one, applaud the risk taker.
I'll be 27 in just a few weeks. It's not a really important age to be, it's just another year in my late 20s. But, for me, it's a time to be a better risk taker. Pull out my camera in public. Wear clothes that make me happy. Make new products. Be bold, be brave and be a bonafide risk taker. Becoming a risk taker is probably the riskiest thing I could do, but at this point, when making friends is near impossible. my dreams are at my doorstep and my life gets shorter by the day, there really is no other path to take. Today is the day, and all of that other bullshit that sounds cheesy but is so true we can't help by chant it under our breaths. Take more risks. I promise you, it will be worth it. I mean, really, how will you ever know unless just do it?
What's the biggest risk you have taken? Was it a good one, or a lousy one? More importantly what did you learn? I'd love to read your stories. 



  1. Great lesson, Beca. I'm taking a lot of risks in the near future, hopefully they work out for the best : )

  2. I think you would make a great friend!!

  3. Your words rang so true with me as I am sure it did with many people, and I thank you for that.

    I think my biggest risk was moving out to WV with my fiancé (then boyfriend of only a little over a year) and start building a house with him. It was absolutely scariest thing I have ever done in my life! And while there have been many times where I have just broken down and cried out of stress/frustration over these past three years of building, I wouldn't change a thing for the world. Now that we are getting close to being able to move out of our 150 sq ft cabin and into our house I am completely over the moon and just so proud of myself for making it this far. I think if you told the teenager version of me that I would move from a big city to such a small town and build my own house I would have just laughed in your face. This whole experience has made me such a stronger person, and even though change/risk does still scare me, I kind cannot wait for the next big thing!

    1. You're my hero, Amanda. Thanks for being brave and awesome. xoxo.

  4. Oh man... I read this at just the right time. You have me in tears because I have long been considering takinga huge risk in my life, to break up with my boyfriend of nearly 3 years. I am not happy. I have cried myself to sleep the last few nights because I am with a man who knows nothing about me, who doesn't get me, and who ultimately doesn't make me happy. I love him, and I feel SAFE with him. I know I have someone who loves me. But this life is so short. I turned 29 in May. Where is my life going? I want to get married have kids... not marry this guy and be divorced in a few years because I didn't STAND UP and be brave and do what my heart is screaming for me to do. I'm so afraid but I am even more afraid of wasting another 3 years of my life unhappy and with someone who contributes to that. I have never been a risk taker, always the kid who ran away and hid. I broke up with my long term boyfriend a few years ago and consider that to be one of the biggest mistakes of my life, so that is why I am so afraid to break up with the current boyfriend... but seriously, this is just what I needed to read. Sorry for the long ramble! My biggest risk is going to have to be trusting my heart and letting it all go, for the hopes of things being better and brighter on the other side <3

    1. Dear Jen,
      Thank you for sharing. I wish for you strength to do what is best for you and be nothing but happy. You are brave and if you are true to yourself, you will find your path. I wish you the very, very best.
      Lots of love,

  5. LOVED reading this, Beca. I feel like what you said is *exactly* where I'm at at this point in my life. I realized that everything I had done (or NOT done, should I say) up to this point was because I was outright scared. I was playing it safe, but in turn making myself extremely unhappy. I decided I needed to make a huge change in my mentality towards my life, so I got out of the unhappy relationship I was in, am currently in the process of starting college, and I opened an Etsy store...all within the past few months!

    All it takes is an ounce of courage to completely change your life around.
    Best of luck to you on your risk-taking adventures, dear!!!
    xo, Allie

  6. oh my word!!!! i love this post...... the biggest risk I have taken is this being a blogger... why is it a risk? because I share my life to the unknown world, and who knows if anyone cares... But I willing to take the risk of people not liking it, and criticism ... Im ok with that...hahha!!

    Your so inspiring!!!

  7. GREAT post (again!). The biggest risk I have ever taken was moving to Brooklyn with no job lined up, just an internship. I was following my then-boyfriend because I was scared to not be with him. The risk was worth it at first - the internship turned into a job after a few months and I got to know one of the most amazing cities on the planet. But a few years later it all fell apart: the company I worked for ran into money troubles and I wasn't paid for several months. At the same time the then-boyfriend decided he was in love with someone else (after we had been together for 8 years - living together for almost 4 of those years). So then a I took my second greatest risk: deciding to pack up my stuff and leave him and the city I had grown to love behind to move back home with my parents. I'm so glad I did. My life in Upstate NY is so much better than my Brooklyn life ever was. I met M and HE was so much better than that boy I wasted 8 years with. I totally agree with you: risks are always worth taking.

  8. I think I really needed to hear this right now. My university career just crashed and burnt and, at 24, I'm suddenly left with no idea of what I want to do with my life anymore and lacking the qualifications I planned to have. I've been thinking about just jumping into the first full time job I find, I mean I desperately need the money, but at the same time I don't want to spend the rest of my life stuck in dead end jobs and never able to truly enjoying my work.

    This post has been a great reminder that even though it might be hard, it is much better to find out exactly what I want to do and work towards something that makes me happy, rather than settling for something that may make my life easier for now xo

  9. Man Beca, you are so inspiring. I hope that you continue to share posts like these on the blog...I really enjoy reading them.

  10. Great post. I'm not really a risk taker. 8 years ago my boyfriend at the time moved 1600 miles away for a job. We broke up, but still talked on occasion. I knew from the moment we met that I loved him. So, I wrote him a letter. A little cheesy, but I couldn't confront him on the phone. I told him I loved him, and we either needed to stop talking all together, so I could start to heal, or we needed to be together. I was on edge for days. And then he called.

    I moved 3 months later.

    Now we've been married for 6 years and have two children.

  11. This was an awesome read; I'm going through a time in my life right now where I'm taking a ton of risks. It's scary but you are 100% right in that you just have to take risks! Life is all about living life and doing the risky things. :) Thanks for telling us your story!

  12. Umm. Husband, two year old, and this lady (+19 week baby bump...and a grumpy cat), are moving to the Bay Area in a week and a half. We don't have a for sure place yet, and my hubbo doesn't have a for sure job. We probably don't have enough money to do said move/get a house/deal with health insurance/deliver this person stealing my food 24/7.
    AND I FEEL TOTALLY FINE! We have been living in Tallahassee, FL for 2 years, and we've got nothing left there. So, we're getting the hell out of there. It's scary bc I will be staying home, and have been the breadwinner for years. Screw you Masters degree, I'm starting a blog and home (pre)schooling my kid!!

  13. This has to be one of my ultimate favorite posts, deeply inspiring. I too, tend to be the person that just watches everyone live but doesnt necessarily partake in anything risky. As of now, the biggest risk i run is of putting my heart out there for someone I hardly know. I'm always the girl that watches the guy fall for her only to end things because she never feel the same way. This time i'm trying to be the LADY that shares how she feels whether or not that person may not feel the same. It's one of the scariest feelings not knowing how the person you care about feels about you, but i'm risking my heart right now to find out. i know this is nothing new for most people but for myself it's a new beginning- or ending. I sincerely admire that you're willing to buy old polaroids, move into a different place, & most of all start your own business. Thanks so much for posting this.

  14. This is a fantastic post. Thanks so much for sharing! I can relate and it's always nice knowing your not the only one out there.

  15. Nice post!

    Recently, I bought a ticket to Dublin to go see this boy... The ticket is for July 12, right before my birthday. I think "How perfect to spend my birthday with the boy!" The boy THEN decides to tell me that after all this time, nothing is going to happen between us and there's no feelings on his side. Shock! The trip is for two weeks... I'm deathly afraid of going to Ireland alone, not knowing anyone. I kiiinda know the guy I'm staying with, he's a musician, me too, we talk... I get there, expecting the worse... Ends up being two of the most AMAZING weeks of my entire life. I don't want to come back home (which is Paris. I'm the only one who says 'i don't want to be in Paris, eh?)
    While in Ireland, I met loads of people, learned to let go, to care less, to TAKE RISKS... I just decided to 'go with the flow'.

    I took a risk, and spent two weeks in heaven.

    sooo... That's my story :)
    Pictures are on my blog if you want to see :)


  16. This is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read.
    I am currently planning a massive risk. I live in London and want to return, after fifteen years, to America. With my dog (?) and the man I live with (?).
    I don't know what kind of job I want to do, or even where I want to live. Summer of 2013 is goign to be the year. I will be thirty, and have lived outside the US for longer than I lived in it.