One of my favorite authors, Paulo Coehlo, is credited with having said, “Pitiful is the person who is afraid of taking risks. Perhaps this person will never be disappointed or disillusioned; perhaps she won’t suffer the way people do when they have a dream to follow. But when the person looks back- she will hear her heart”. It’s kind of the same concept as Teddy Roosevelt’s famous quote about “those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
Any real progress or accomplishment comes with risk- it’s a part of fully being alive. Life without risk is paralysis. I love the approach author Benjamin Zander takes with his music students. In his book, The Art of Possibility, he says he actively trains his students that when they make a mistake, they are to lift their arms in the air, smile, and say, How fascinating! “Not only mistakes,” he says, “but even those experiences we ordinarily define as ‘negative’ can be treated in this way.”
This week, I had two things planned to risk the possibility of rejection: one which has achieved resolution, and the other, I’m going to ask for some help in achieving.
The first was to audition for a community production of “The Sound of Music.” I used to be very involved in theater in high school and my early collage years, but it’s been a very long time since I’ve even thought about auditioning for a show.
I actually talked myself out of auditioning and let things pass without taking any action. But like Paulo Coehlo says, I started to hear my heart. I talked with someone about coming to audition the first night of callbacks and they graciously agreed.
After I did some initial singing, they requested I come back the next night and attend callbacks for the adult roles. We learned and performed some simple choreography, read for several of the parts, and finished with more singing. There were a lot of talented people there, and I felt a little nervous, but mostly honored to be included.
A few days passed and I got a phone call at work asking me if I would be willing to play Maria, the lead role! I’m excited for the challenge and really looking forward to the experience and the new opportunities it will present for me to take some risks.
The second thing I explored this week has to do with this blog as a whole. I can’t believe the final week of this project has come and gone. It’s been a life-changing experience for me. I really do feel transformed, empowered, and above all, very happy and very grateful. With only a few weeks left until my thirty-first birthday, I believe this year has been one of the best I’ve experienced in my life.
I have also really appreciated the feedback from everyone given both here and on my facebook page. It’s gratifying to know that this has had a bit of a ripple effect with some of my friends. It’s because of that feedback and my own positive experiences that I’ve decided that I’d like to expand the “flirting with life” portion of this blog into a book. I would like to gear it towards a mid-singles LDS population with the hope that it will do some good for other people the way it has for me.
I talked with a very kind person this past week who is good friends with the CEO of an LDS publishing company called Deseret Book. After I explained to him what I wanted to do, he generously offered to give my book to her directly when I am finished. I’m not sure if she will be interested in it, but the offer motivates me to create the best product possible.
So, here’s where the help part comes in. Many of you have been so wonderful about taking the time to read the blog. I would really love input from you as I rewrite and revamp this- any feedback, ideas, suggestions, quotes, stories, scriptures, etc. that come to mind for any of the thirty weeks. I want to make this as strong as possible and it’s going to take some work. Good thing I have some pretty creative and brilliant friends.
When I asked my mom for advice on putting together a book, her reply was classic: Do it. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Well said, Mom. Well said.