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Simply Taking Risks

I can't say that I use the word "hate" often. Actually, when I was younger, I was grounded once when I used the word. But I will tell you, I used to hate the game truth or dare. Somehow middle school Maddie would always end up licking the floor or sharing the name of my crush that I didn't want my friends to make fun of me for.

But I think what I hated the most about the game of truth or dare was the fact that no matter which path you chose, you were taking a risk.

Ooofff. Risks. You know, those--I don't know what will happen or how people react, but here goes nothing--things that you do. Yeah, those.

I am not a fan of taking risks. I like having control. I like having all my ducks in a row and knowing what tomorrow will hold. I like the comfort of being safe. And I know I am not alone. So many people like the comfort of the known, but we don't grow when we are comfortable, we grow through the discomfort.

I'm going to tell you, that I have taken some risks in my life. I have jumped off the deep end in more ways than one, and I had to decide in those decisions who I was going to let guide my choice and how I was going to guard my heart. About a year ago, I decided to take a huge leap of faith in college and change the direction my entire life would hold. I changed majors to psychology. Let me emphasize HUGE leap of faith. I didn't know what would happen, who would judge, where my life would go, or even what opportunities would arise. Heck, I hadn't even taken a single psychology class! (What was I even thinking?)

People judged. I was called stupid and crazy, I was told by the people closest to me that I was making a mistake. I almost believed that they were right, but something in me told me to take this risk and run with it.

So I want to tell you about a friend of mine. She goes to school with me, and actually her path is very similar to mine. At the end of last April, we happened to run into each other at a restaurant. Later that night, she texted me and told me that I was on her mind lately, so it was almost a sign when we bumped into each other earlier that night. Funny how God does that, right?

We ended up getting coffee and she was telling me that deep in her bones she didn't feel like she was where she was meant to be--that there was a restless feeling in her and something greater was out there for her to pursue.

I don't remember much of that conversation, but I do remember telling her to watch the movie "We Bought a Zoo." A long-time friend of mine loved that movie, and whenever we would have a movie night, that was the go-to movie choice. Such a cute movie and I highly recommend if you haven't seen it!

Anyways, my favorite take away from the movie is "20 seconds of courage." In a moment when you don't know to go after it or not, give yourself 20 seconds and do it. I double-dog dare you,

do it.

So I told her to find her 20 seconds of courage.

The summer passed, and the fall semester was coming to an end. One day I was walking across my small campus and happened to bump into my friend again.

"Maddie! I did it! I wanted to let you know that I took my 20 seconds of courage. I decided to switch majors!"

I don't think I have ever been more proud of any person in my life. I love being ya'll's cheerleader. I love being able to stand and watch you be brave and conquer your 20 seconds of courage. I love being able to give you encouragement and dare you to chase your dreams.

I hope this post gives you the encouragement you are needing today. I hope if anything, you find the courage to take a risk. No matter how big or small. No matter if you succeed or fail. Maybe it's asking out that girl in your science class that you've been crushing on. Maybe it's picking up a hobby that you have wanted to pursue, but children, work, and life got in the way. Maybe it's standing up for a cause you believe in but have been too afraid to. Maybe it's leaving your job, maybe it's starting a new path in life.

Be vulnerable. Be messy. Take big risks. And live a life full of sincerity,


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