This is just a hobby, right? Every time I performed onstage as a child/teenager/young adult, I knew I’d hear that question from either my parents or grandparents. It wasn’t a bad thing. I genuinely never resented it. I just came to expect it. It was par for the course. This from a gal who has performed for uncountable amounts of people onstage, literally hundreds and hundreds of times, since the age of 3. Knock ’em dead, have a blast, but don’t let your love of entertaining seduce you into pursuing a career in entertainment. IT’S TOO HIGH-RISK.
My family didn’t ‘do’ risk. My Mom is fabulous teacher. My Dad is a perfectionist dentist. They started their careers after college and stuck with ’em. For like, 45 years. We live in a different world now… but that’s the world I grew up in. That’s the world I found comforting and normal. Anything different than that scared me. Still does. In many ways, fear had a hand in shaping my values and direction. I was raised with it. Now that I’m a parent, I totally get it. Protect your kids. Keep them on the path that you know. I’m inclined to do the same with my girls. Don’t take risks. Don’t get hurt.
And now, even though I’ve conditioned myself to work in a very ‘high-risk/high-gain’ industry, I don’t do risk very well (which is why it took me a whole five years after I graduated college, paired with an emotionally-crushing life experience at the age of 25, to muster up the courage and actually admit to myself that it’d be ok and acceptable to pursue a career in something I’d loved, studied and succeeded at my entire life so far). At age 27, I realized I HAD to pursue a career in entertainment… or else I might die (figuratively). So I bungeed.
My husband on the other hand, has literally bungeed…. OFF A CLIFF IN AUSTRALIA. (Freak. He did it before we met. I still roll my eyes when I watch the grainy video. He’s not allowed to do stuff like that anymore.) By nature, he’s a risk-taker. A smart, capable and logical (most of the time, anyways) risk-taker. He’s fearless… figuratively and literally. He was raised with it. At the age of 4, his family had to separate, abandon everything they had and secretly trek halfway around the world so just so they could get to America be free. Hello, dangerous. If they were caught? Bad things… death, I think. (But don’t quote me.) Talk about risky. Taking risks had a hand in shaping his values and direction. (My great-grandparents did it too, I guess, but something that happened four generations ago doesn’t necessarily resonate when you’re growing up and it’s not a part of your life’s experience.)
How did my husband and I end up together? Yin and yang forces, I guess.
So when this past month presented a fork in his road of opportunity – a change, a small risk, if you will… with the potential of significant and fulfilling career gain – I was against it. Risk is not good. Stay where you are. Keep a sure thing. I argued my point. I yelled my point. At one point I cried my point. All out of fear. I did not win. I’m less scared that I was a month ago, but I’m still scared. Old habits die hard. But I’m learning.
And that is why I’m thankful that he’s the dad to my girls (besides that he helps me with bath time and teeth-brushing when I ask). Logical, moderate and calculated risk is what makes us grow, evolve and excel. It keeps us alive, focused and working hard. Taking risks is a part of life… my girls need learn that so that they can grow, evolve and excel without being afraid of fear. A little fear is good (he and I both agree on that), but the trick is to know when to confidently tell it to shut up because you know it’s all going to work out for the better deep down. Who knew this guy I’m married to had parenting tips like this?
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO YOU, MY HUSBAND. WHAT DOES YOUR HUSBAND TEACH YOUR KIDS?