Odds Are

Every now and then, I’ll be driving from somewhere to somewhere else and a song will play on the radio that just shoots from the hip and strikes the heart and just holds me accountable.

Part of growth is learning that risk management isn’t always taking chances or making decisions based on numbers.  There’s an inherent dynamic that says no matter how much the numbers may or may not favor you, there is always a chance that the opposite outcome will occur.  Instead of making decisions for reasons why they would succeed, I’ve been making decisions based on reasons why they would fail.

That really just isn’t a way to live.

Sure, things go wrong but I’ve always been willing to take my chances.

I’ve always been the type of person who felt that there had to be some concrete resolution.  Sure, I’ve been known to act in faith and that everything will sort itself out.  However, more often than not I believed that whatever that meant would bode badly for me just because that’s how everything else has wound up being.  It didn’t matter if I had good intentions or not.  Someone had to bear the consequences and I always felt that it would wind up being me.

Nothing worth risking was never worth having.  I firmly believe that with every fiber of my being.  I don’t think there will ever be a point where I stop believing that.  But, I think I’ve grown up enough to say that I’ve lost sight of what I thought was worth having.

Lately, I have been struggling with the fear of loss.  The fear of losing my friends, my family, and perhaps even my very essence and what made me special… whatever that may be.  I still haven’t figured that one out.  Everything of merit that I have, I’ve earned and even more to the point, has chosen to stay.  I’ve committed unhealthy acts of sabotage against everything and everyone who has added value to a life that probably doesn’t have any.  It honestly didn’t occur to me just how damaging this can really be until I burned through them all and saw what was left.

There’s always a chance that things will turn out exactly the opposite way that we hope they will.  As much as we say that it shouldn’t stop us from taking the risk, it is still a very effective deterrent.  We can take such a negative view on how we make our daily choices no matter how seemingly insignificant or disproportionately impacting we can make them out to be.

It’s so easy for us to make decisions that we trust will satiate our own selfish desires or the collective interests of a group.  It’s a much more difficult think to make decisions that don’t.  We have to make decisions that are right for everyone concerned.  I haven’t been able to make a decision that was right for me in a good, long time.  I’ve made decisions that defended in cowardice what I’ve desperately tried to hold on to with such emotion.  What I wanted, whether it be in a social, spiritual, or emotional sense, was never really important.  So, it was just easier to place those desires behind those who did matter.

I’ve been so afraid to make risky decisions because of the odds that I will fail and lose them too… whatever the chances I wouldn’t may have been.  Instead of believing the odds would have made me miserable, forced me to compromise, or perhaps even just lay down and accept that it was over and I needed to move on, I could have accepted that they could have equally worked in my favor.  Optimism was never a strong suit of mine.  It didn’t ever mean that I wouldn’t be alright in the sense that I’d be happy or taken care of.  It meant that I’d be alright that I’ve learned how to live without those wants and desires and be able to move on from them.  After all, they don’t really matter now, do they?  Odds are they probably do… then again, the odds are that I won’t have to worry about them.

The odds are that we will probably be alright.  Not just alright, but perhaps maybe, just maybe… the odds are we will probably be all right.

-Kevin

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