Risky Business.

Every Mother’s Day I partake in the special holiday tradition of having a chuckle when I remember a certain Outback Steakhouse radio commercial from my high school days. It’s much funnier in my head, I’ll admit, because I have the australian accent guy to sing it for me. Sorry, guys. *ahem*:

Nobody ever loves you like your mum (mum)…
even when she smacks you on the bum (bum)…
Mum’s the word and so the word is mum! (mum)

It’s true: nobody loves you like yo’ momma. My momma:

Went to church with the fam today for Mom’s Big Day, and the sermon was all about that “virtuous woman” passage in Proverbs, which sets some high standards for what a mother/wife/woman should strive to be. Mom would be the first to tell you she isn’t perfect (she says it a little too often, actually) but her heart is full of love. I think that means she passes the Mom Test.

Love and I have been going through a test of our own for the last, oh, year (or 27…). Today I’m pondering why unconditional, selfless love is so bloomin’ hard to find (again, australian-guy voice). Sometimes it’s easy to think that love is rare because it’s so hard…but is it really that difficult to love? I think some people are afraid it will be…and that fear is enough of a reason not to try. But I used to be afraid of all sorts of things…Swimming. Skydiving. Shaving my Legs. Trying new food. Therapy. Trusting men. (That’s just 2 letters of the alphabet…I’ve got more.)
Turns out lots of potentially scary things can also be the things that make life rich and interesting.

Be it romance or friendship or family, letting other people into your life means risking…rejection or embarrassment or heartbreak or disappointment, sure…but love (I hypothesize.) means believing & hoping that what you gain is going to be worth what you give.

Makes me think of the word WHOLEHEARTED. If you have 20 minutes to spare (and, well, you do) this TED Talk video would be a great way to spend them:

This video helps me to remember that the risks of love are worth it, even when the rewards are hard to find. It also makes me think of that line from the movie Adaptation, which I ponder a lot, and I think might make a good tattoo: you are what you love, not what loves you.

Sometimes I like to partake in this poem from high school days (which, lovably introspective though I was at 16, I did not write, to be clear). I fully acknowledge the cheese-factor involved. Sorry, guys. But I also acknowledge its truthiness. *ahem*:

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach for another is to risk involvement.
To expose your ideas, your dreams,
before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To believe is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken, because the
greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The people who risk nothing, do nothing,
have nothing, are nothing.
They may avoid suffering and sorrow,
but they cannot learn, feel, change,
grow, love, live.
Chained by their attitudes they are slaves;
they have forfeited their freedom.
Only a person who risks is free.

Come to think of it, this poem wouldn’t make such a bad tattoo…except for the fact that it would make a horrible tattoo.

Thanks, Mom, for the love. (All that food & laundry was really great, too.)

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4 thoughts on “Risky Business.

  1. Yeah thanks for sharing the poem, but I hope that you have improved since high school… No offense, but the “cheese factor” is quite intense. Otherwise, a very thoughtful and interesting blog post. I don’t have the time to watch the video right now but, I’ll get to it when I have a chance.
    By the way, if you’d like to check out some less cheesy poems visit http://www.thenightlypoem.com.
    Keep on postin’!

  2. None taken. This poem is a relic from summer camp writing class, and I did NOT write it myself. Your note helped me clarify that (and I’m oh so glad I did!).

  3. Sarah, nice post. I enjoy your blog! You did used to be afraid of skydiving, until you, James, Zac, Chris and I went! I still can’t decide if I ever want to do that again…

    My response to Patrick’s comment would have read: “Patrick, thanks for the douchey comment! I was unclear as to whether you were completely consumed by yourself, or just partially, thanks for the clarification!”

    Just kidding Patrick, I don’t even know ya. Hope all is well, Sarah.

  4. I would like to second Neil S.’s hypothetical response to Patrick’s comment. I don’t know Neil or Patrick, but I’m guessing I would like Neil better.

    I would also probably have added, “I don’t really have the time or desire to look at your alternate poem site. When and if I am done doing all of the things that make me happy and increasingly brilliant and witty, I may consider your suggestion, but until i get that ‘chance,’ don’t hold your breath, honey. ” Seriously, the PRJ comment made me throw up a little inside my mouth.

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