Safety Nets, on Tossing Them

Growing up as “the model child” has a lot of benefits. You become well-acquainted with concepts like Consequences to Actions, Insurance, Savings Accounts, Planning, Delayed Gratification, Setting Goals, Pro/Con Lists, and Looking Both Ways Before Crossing Streets. You have a file on your computer with your default packing list, and you’re prepared for nearly any circumstance (even if this means your purse/backpack/daybag ends up ridiculously heavy). Someone needs a bandaid? A book? A scarf? A heat-reflective instant shelter? You’ve got it covered–Cautious Person to the rescue!


Life isn’t just about being prepared, cautious, and insulated. Some things are best jumped into blind, or learned by first-hand mistake. It goes against ever fiber of my being, but it’s true–as The Awesome Writer Roomie related in her experience coming at writing “all wrong.” I’ve been–cautiously, of course–learning this through the past decade or so in fits and spurts. Some of this is my slight–SLIGHT–unwinding as I passed age 30 and realized that, HEY, some of the best decisions I made were uncertain and open to failure and uninsured. Much of this is due to the amazing and wondrous influence of my Partner in Crime Life, Alex–who while brought up with similar cautious attitudes, nevertheless has a penchant for risk, adventure, and striking out into the Great Unknown that baffles, excites, terrifies, and delights me. My life is far better and more interesting not only because I have him in it, but because he encourages me to dive into something new or slightly risky or spontaneous once in awhile. (Watch a movie without reading reviews or having seen a trailer? GASP!)

I make fun, but our dual decision to move to Ukraine is a pretty darn Huge Crazy Thing, and for all the right reasons. Although Alex has spent the majority of the past three years abroad, probably 2/3 of it in Ukraine (and the rest on planes, in other places like India, Finland, and various airports around the world), he’s been in a hotel. Staying there a few weeks at a time before coming “home” to DFW. To a house that we own. In the United States. He’s losing his own safety net by 1) me quitting my job to move out there, 2) we sell/rent our house in the US, without 3) a clear idea of what we’ll do when this Ukraine stint is over. We’re both going through waves of elation, fear, and utter confusion as the time for the actual move approaches–it’s like Emotional Ukrainian Roulette (ha! see what I did there?). What emotion are we on at the moment? NOBODY KNOWS!

It’s a pretty awesome test of our resilience, our trust in God, and our willingness to not over-plan our future. Whereas I once knew (or thought I did) where I’d live and what I’d be doing in five years, I no longer know. And while a small part of me is screaming in terror at this (AAACK!), I’m actually incredibly excited about it. (Not about the inner screaming, you understand. About the Future Unknown. Just to be clear.) It’s like getting a second youth–like graduating high school and knowing you’ll be in college a few years, and then–who knows? Sky’s the limit! What will we do, where will we live “when we grow up?” I don’t know, and Alex doesn’t know, but eventually we’ll get to that point and find out.

*EEEK.* Please excuse me while I go calm myself down.

What’s the best “crazy” decision you ever made?


4 thoughts on “Safety Nets, on Tossing Them

  1. Jared says:

    I have certainly been blessed to know you both, and I know you’ll thrive on this grand adventure.

  2. Amanda says:

    The best “crazy” decision I made? At age 48, to leave a full-time paraprofessional library job and move back home to Texas to finish my MSLS and find a job here in my home state, where I wanted to live again. The move wasn’t completely without a safety net – I did have a one-semester graduate assistantship lined up at UNT – but it was risky. I had no idea where I would live – but ended up being offered a place to stay by my wonderful cousin and his wife in Grapevine. I figured – correctly – that it would be easier to find a job in Texas (and I was willing to go just about ANYWHERE in the state) if I was already IN Texas. And I got the bonus of reconnecting with my true love from over 25 years earlier.

    You are going to do just fine! Enjoy the ride!

  3. Tigpan says:

    WOW! WOW! WOW! So obviously I am in full support of this idea…however, the thoughts in this particular blog is quickly becoming a resounding theme in my own head. I’ve done all of the conventional things that society has told me to do – but i am not really a conventional girl. I’ve tried really hard to be, and even I think have the costume and act down….but I hate it. What if I sell it all and just get out of dodge. Or wander about without a 5 year plan (I was never good at those anyway.)

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