a hop, a skip, and a leap

Posted by anya on March 12th, 2008 filed in Uncategorized

it’s late and i’m pondering. pondering how we risk [there’s that word again!]. During a conversation this weekend, they told me that sometimes you ‘just have to go for it.’ In many over-lapping frames, we decide to take leaps of faith at one point or another. Sometimes, in academia, when we put all our bets on one unlikely theory and argue our damn hardest. We make strange analogies, insert references that make more sense to us than to the reader, and really take a stand. In our lives, we sometimes make a gamble on a city, an apartment, a school, or a restaurant. And one of the oddest things we gamble with are our feelings. You can’t be too cautious, they say. Sometimes you just have to take that chance, that first step, that risk. That’s what I remember reading about courting, and how daring and beautiful and wonderful it is (le sigh). And what if it doesn’t pay off? What if that phone call results in a lonely Saturday night? In a lonely year? In a lonely you? Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? But what if it doesn’t? Every perceived failure chips away at our sense of ‘self.’ Is that where insecurity comes from? Do our decisions fuck us up so badly that we become imbibed in their effects? or is it more like a vicious circle? I know, i know, i know. If you don’t, you’ll always be wondering ‘what if’. But is ‘what if’ so bad compared to the possibility of rejection (and all the things that that brings with it)? Or perhaps ‘predictable but safe’ isn’t so horrible. Look at all those happy, placid, stable people. They are together with other happy, placid, stable people. Their Tuesday nights are pre-determined. You know who they are talking to by the melody in their voice. They know, and I don’t.

My dear theoretical you… how do you know when to take that leap? how do you keep your spirits up after the risk doesn’t pay off? how do you balance the ‘what ifs’ with the ‘just do its’?

Something from MR:
“Investors collectively spend around $100 billion a year trying to beat the stock market. That’s the finding of a rigorous effort to measure the total costs of Americans’ efforts to surpass the returns they would have received by simply holding a stock index fund. The huge price tag helps explain why beating a buy-and-hold strategy is so difficult.”

Look. Economics tells us to be safe. We’re supposed to trust that. They’re numbers, statistics. So much more reliable than fingertips and lips. So perhaps the ones that really win out in the end are those that play it safe with their papers and feelings and cities.
Is risk really just a means of impressing people at parties?

To continue…
“The only stock pickers that matter are the ones who are right.”

and I got it all wrong.


3 Responses to “a hop, a skip, and a leap”

  1. Joshua Says:

    It’s like, when you keep taking the risks and it doesn’t work out, they say you learn. But sometimes you don’t want to keep learning. You want a nice easy life. Anyway, as someone told me (my Mum), wisdom is a comb given to a bald man.

    But I need a few risks to keep me feeling alive. The middle way.

    Enjoyed reading your stuff.

  2. anya Says:

    Hmm, the middle way… then again, you are, in general, i think, a bit more of a gambler than i am ;)

  3. heroine pretend Says:

    This is something that is always on my mind. Because I think I always take risks when it comes to jobs, school, health etc. Everything but feelings. Perhaps because I think all those things are repairable and knowing that makes the risk seem insignificant. Whereas feelings seem like something so beyond my control, it’s easier to play on the safe side (so I don’t get hurt). Oh god, this is starting to sound like a Kelly Clarkson song.

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