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I’m Not Usually Willing to Take Risks— But I’m Doing It Anyway

Risk. The very word makes me shiver. I have always aspired to become a risk taker—to go skydiving, cliff diving, backpacking, and so much more. I envision myself standing atop a mountain, gazing out at the valley below, being overcome by a sense of freedom.

Then my eyes open. The daydream is over, and I return to the reality where my definition of risk is trying a new flavor of ice cream.

The truth is that I don’t usually take risks.

In fact, right now, writing this essay is my risk. When I first thought of writing this essay, I was timid. I was afraid of all of the “what-ifs” that raced through my mind like wild horses. What if I don’t get published? What if my essay isn’t good enough? What if I’m not good enough?

The idea of placing my love of writing into someone’s hands, open and vulnerable to their critique and criticism, made my heart pound. As much as I wanted to take the risk, I was afraid. Afraid that something I love—writing—would be tainted by the stain of rejection.

For days, the thought of this opportunity plagued my mind. I had no lack of wanting to try, but that desire seemed to be imprisoned by the fear of rejection.

After having the idea gnaw on my brain cells for a few days, I finally brought it up to my mom. To be 100 percent truthful, her response is what motivated me to take the risk.

The second I explained my fear about the essay to her, her reply was, “Go for it! You can do it!”

My mom, ever since I was young, cultivated my imagination and encouraged me when I took an interest in writing. She has never stopped having my back and has pushed me to take non-reckless risks and chances. She has never stopped believing in me and has been my cheerleader every step of the way.

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My mom and dad’s encouragement and faith in me spoke volumes. It showed me that I was loved and accepted, even if I don’t get published. It has shown me that I shouldn’t be afraid of rejection—because I’m already accepted by the ones who matter the most.

Hannah Hatfield, a recent high school graduate, enjoys writing, photography, music, and reading. She has been writing since she was 8 years old.

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