Let’s take a risk, shall we?

I like to take risks. Not every day, but every once in a while, I like to just jump into something. I love to wander around a new place, I like to hike a difficult trail even with my kids in tow, I get a rush from challenging someone’s ideas.

Now, if you know me, you know that I am not the type to go off the deep end. You probably would never consider me a risk taker. You’ll just have to trust me, I am.

I just took a quiz that proves it. I take most of my risks in the social sphere, but also quite a lot recreationally. I do wait through the cold months to drag my kids to the wilderness for days on end all summer with the bare minimum of supplies, just to teach them how to slow down and survive. I do count on my body to take on whatever adventure I choose, regardless of my training and ability. Sometimes that gets me into trouble, and I like it that way.

The Wall Street Journal article that referenced the quiz explains that women, commonly thought to be more risk-adverse than men, in reality, do take a lot of risks. It’s true, for me. I am, I think, uniquely able to act on my thoughts and desires. I am out of the workforce right now, by choice, which gives me a certain level of freedom to do as I please. I am not accountable to a boss, other than my family. Really, I feel no pressure to impress anyone right now, which I did for all of my 20s. In the absence of pressure, I can consider my true opinions about things. In most cases, I feel comfortable speaking up about my opinions, politely of course. When I do feel uncomfortable, I’ve come to like the energy burst it gives me.

So why, you might ask, would I consider giving up this freedom, my time with my kids, my ownership of my life to return to the workforce in a new, uncharted capacity? Why, if I am so fortunate to have all that I technically need, do I feel so drawn to reinvent myself at this moment? It’s completely risky. I am investing my time and energy in a project that has no formal description and has no documented endgame. I want to be creative and get paid for it. It’s going to be difficult and demanding and I’m going to love every minute of it. Because I am a risk taker. I’m with 36-year-old Paul Cusma, investment banker and speed junkie, who calls it when he says, “I don’t want to wake up one day and realize I forgot to live my life.”