Trying new things

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Doesn’t always work out for the best. It’s a built-in risk, though, isn’t it? That everything new you try might not come out the way you hoped or expected.

I’ve had a little touch of the food poisoning this week.

In the spirit of trying new things, I ventured into a Cuban restaurant not too far from me, one I’d never tried before. I haven’t had much Cuban food, so it was doubly new. There wasn’t anyone else there when we walked in, but as soon as we crossed the threshold, it was too late.

We couldn’t just walk out again. Maybe I was the only one thinking about it, anyway, given it wasn’t something I could say, not in front of the owner.

The food tasted good, and it seemed like a success. Until about 2 am, that is.

And I’ve been off ever since. It’s not the worst case I’ve had; not by a long shot, but here I am in the aftermath of a risk that didn’t pan out. Does it mean I’ll never go to a new restaurant again? Well, that’s unlikely.

Does it mean I won’t eat anywhere where there isn’t another person?

That’s much more likely.

When we accept risk, we rarely think of the possible consequences as a tangible, likely thing. But reality is that not everything pans out; sometimes you get some bad chicken.

But that’s life. You pick yourself up eventually, you exist on bland foods for as long as that takes, and you gear yourself up to try something new.

Just maybe not the chicken.

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 Her Cousin Much Removed

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Risk with the letter R

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I’m not a risk-taker. At least, I don’t think of myself as one. I would never jump off of or out of…anything, unless, possibly, it was on fire. I don’t gamble because I don’t see the fun in handing my money over to a faded, glitzy place with an all-you-can-eat shrimp and coronary buffet.

But those risks aren’t the only ones in life.

Writing, itself, is a risk. Whenever you write, you are putting a piece of yourself out into the world, leaving it exposed to the elements, even if you are the only one to see it. When you share that piece, you allow people to ooh and ah over your babies. But you also give them the chance to call them ugly and make mean memes about them. (The internet is a weird place).

Exposing your inner workings is really the core of any art form. If art says nothing about humanity — especially the artist’s humanity — it’s usually tough to connect to it. But sharing that is difficult.

It’s risky.

So even if we have no desire to skirt a mountain (or not quite skirt a mountain) in a wingsuit, or drive a race car at 300 miles an hour, or eat a long expired yogurt, we are all risk takers. Just being brave enough to share our view on our corner of the world is, itself, a risk.

And one well worth taking.

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