I failed at risking yesterday. I had the idea of a risk, really wanted to do it, and stopped myself. I never came back to it and it haunted me until bedtime.
The risk I would have taken, had I had more courage, was to play in leaves. Chicago is freakin’ gorgeous right now, both the weather and with all the leaves turning. There’s trees in my neighborhood that have Green Bay Packer pride, their undercoats turning yellow while their topcoats stay vibrant green. There’s cherry purple leaves, spicy mustard leaves and the occasional Macintosh apple leaves. Daydreams of childhood romps in large piles of leaves decorated my day. I wanted so badly to relive those days.
But I didn’t. I had many opportunities and I didn’t. Why you may ask? Simple: I’m chicken.
I’ve begun to see that one of the main reasons I struggle to risk is the fear of looking foolish. My fear of looking foolish is my fear of judgment. A large chunk of my past was spent looking outside of myself to determine my worth. So judgment used to play a huge role in my decision making process.
Luckily I’ve realized this in the last few years and have been working to change it. But yesterday old habits took hold of my spirit and I did not build the orangey pile of crunchy leaves that I wanted to build. I did not drop all of my to-do’s in favor of falling backwards into a giant, well crafted mound of Fall’s finest. No, I failed at risking yesterday because I was afraid my neighbors would think I’m weird (which I am) and silly (which I am) and all around off my rocker (jury’s still out).
Maybe I’ll work up the courage to try this again before winter descends on the city. Maybe I just need a buddy so that I don’t look foolish alone. Maybe I just need to get over it and construct the best pile of leaves this city has ever seen.