As I posted yesterday’s post, WordPress came up with a list of questions and ideas to inspire more blogging. I don’t usually do this, but on the flip side I’m not opposed to doing it, either. It’s just I write what I want to write about, and often that doesn’t mess with suggestions.
That day I got three good ones.
I think the people at WordPress did that out of spite.
Or a vain attempt to keep me from babbling about spam. Again.
While all three would have worked wonders (and you might see them in future, if WordPress brings them up again) but the one that hooked me, that had to be talked about, was this:
Share a story about a risk you’re glad you took.
The obvious choice to talk about was my Alaskan trip. When I was fifteen years old, I went to work on my cousin Curt’s fishing boat. The job lasted three days, at the end of which he fired me, as I quite frankly wasn’t working out. In that time, I got to see some of the wonders of the state, hitchhike (kind of), and miss my plane home. It’s a rather grand little story.
Six years. Shouldn’t I have readers by now?
In any case. Something new. Another risk. Something as big.
This is what I came up with. When I was a junior in high school, I asked a girl out on a date.
You think the two aren’t comparable? You don’t know me, then. These days, I’m a virtual shut in. But I go out. I function among my fellow human beings. I talk in conversations and, when the urge arises, I even initiate. If you met me on the street you’d think I was an average person.
You might also mistake me for being a woman due to my currently long hair, but that’s another matter.
What I’m trying to convey is that back then I wasn’t all that. Back then I was incredibly, horribly, overpoweringly timid and shy. And while I have my moments even today, they are nothing compared to how I was then.
And I asked a girl out on a date. No prompting, no nothing. I just walked up to her and asked her to see a movie with me.
And do you know what she said?
You should. It was “No.” She was fairly nice (she already had a boyfriend, don’t you know), but the answer would have been the same in any case.
I mean, honestly, what woman is going to say “Yes” to me now? I can drive a car now. I can hold an interesting conversation that’s not horror or comic related now. But I still have no job, I’m still a wastrel, and while I’m taking steps to undo that, it won’t be changed in the near future. And yet I’m a better catch now than I was then.
But you know what? I knew all that back then. It wasn’t about getting a date (I might have died at her feet if she said yes). It was about asking her out.
I’ve often thought that, were she a little less nice about it, that I might not have tried anything ever again. That I might have become more antisocial than I was, that instead of a shell around me, I’d have tall walls of steel and fire with snipers at the ready.
Or not. It’s hard to say.
In any case, I’ve always been grateful to her for her kindness. I only wish I could have done something for her, instead of being a pain in her neck during the school year. (An albatross around the neck senior year as I went full blown weird boy, but that’s a sad, depressing story that I’m not telling her.)
The most I’ve done since, and the most I continue to do, is hope the best for her and whatever she sets her mind to doing. As far as I’m concerned, she deserves nothing but the best.