Look before you leap

In my opinion, the world is populated by three kinds of people. People who choose to leap into the unknown with a rush of adventure, people who prefer to hold someone else’s hand to jump and people who prefer to watch others do the leaping. There are advantages and disadvantages to all of these, but I think it’s good to know which type you prefer to be. It is one of my starting points for all my fictional characters. I need to know that about them.

Taking an unknown leap, with a sense of adventure is something that every parent tries to instil in their child while eating lunch.

Parent:                 “Eat the tomato, it’s very nice.”

Five year old:      “No, I don’t like tomatoes.”

Parent:                 “You ate a tomato yesterday on your pizza.”

Five year old:      “That was yesterday. Today I don’t like tomatoes.”

Parent:                 “But tomatoes are lovely. They are very colourful and very good for you.”

Five year old:      “I don’t like them, they’re yucky.”

Parent:                   “How do you know that? You haven’t tried it.”

Five year old:      “I just do.”

When I was younger I used to recklessly leap into the unknown, but as I’ve got older, I’ve noticed that I tend to wait for others to help me more. Life deals out its ups and downs and you can become more risk adverse for entirely sensible reasons. Each time you get hurt or knocked back it has an impact and can affect your courage. When I lost my mum, I regressed into myself and my confidence failed me for a while. I remember walking around the supermarket the week after her death in a daze, but I found the presence of other people reassured me. In a shop full of people it’s logical to assume that there are others alongside you in the vegetable aisle who are also dealing with major emotional issues, such as grief, and that gave me some comfort. I knew that if they could go about their daily lives, then I could too.

I learnt that holding someone else’s hand before stepping into the unknown and leaning on each other for support is necessary for most of us at different times in our lives. But, I still aspire to be a leap into the unknown, with a rush of adventure, kind of person. Life is short after all. I can’t help admiring self-confident, charismatic people and entrepreneurs who will take a chance and go for it. They take risks, choosing to ignore the consequences by focusing on their goal.

With that in mind, this week I have done something different. I have taken a leap….. and finally joined Twitter. I admit that I needed a push from my brother to take the plunge, but I’m now @susannah_hines  I have dangled myself recklessly over the edge and gained the ability to share photographs and comments about my day in 140 character bite-size chunks with the Twittersphere. How will that go? Parachute anyone?

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