Jump Right In


Today’s Daily Prompt: “What’s the biggest risk you’d like to take — but haven’t been able to? What would have to happen to make you comfortable taking it?”

Risk. Strange thing risk. One person’s risky is another’s safe and secure.

I don’t often think of my actions in terms of risk. I’m more likely to give in to anxiety than to feel that something is too risky. I know that sounds the same but it isn’t. Considering risk is a rational decision, anxiety is an emotional one.

There is one place where my anxiety is tied to risk. When it comes to my relationships with women I’m always too anxious, to aware of the risk of pushing for what I want. I’m never prepared to risk losing a friend to push for romance, I don’t want to risk losing romance to push for a sexual relationship.

Just ask the women I’ve dated. I move so slow there are sloths laughing at my lack of speed. I wrote the short story ‘The Kiss’ as a semi-autobiographical exploration of how one woman I was dating decided to take matters into her own hands.

It’s hard to know what would make me more comfortable, what could take the risk away or lower the anxiety. Maybe women could come with a manual? Perhaps you could have flashing lights installed on your forehead?

I know, I’ve got it. Have an Ethernet port installed on your shoulder so I can use ssh to get to your underlying operating system. I’m an old school Unix geek so I can get real comfortable with a command line interface.

OK, that’s a little unrealistic. There are some things that would make it easier that are possible.

Let’s start with no mixed messages. I spent two years in a relationship once that never quite got off the ground. Every time I pushed forward she would disappear, not being available, slow to return phone calls. Then when I had enough and stopped making an effort she was suddenly phoning me and asking me out. Mixed messages.

Then I would ask for some equality. Why does it seem that men are supposed to drive this game forward? Can’t women make some of the moves, risk the embarrassment, risk the refusal? I don’t ask for this just to share the pain but if you do more of the driving it makes it makes it easier for me to recognise the direction you want to go.

Finally, to take away my anxiety, to make me comfortable about the risk, just take my hand, hold me close and tell me how you feel.


This post ended up nowhere near where I thought it would when I started. That’s the risk I take every time I open up Byword on my Mac and start typing away, let the muse loose and write where she wants to go. Indeed there’s nothing I love more than taking that risk and I relish the discomfort of whacking away at the keyboard with no idea if the end result will end up in the bin or be one of my favourite posts until I reach a conclusion and look back.

As I said at the beginning, strange thing risk. We often know it’s there and sometimes we can live with it, sometimes it raises anxiety and sometimes it stops us totally cold. I hope you don’t let risk make you too anxious to act.

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6 thoughts on “Jump Right In

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