Ride Hard, Take Chances
Updated: Dec 9, 2019
So I used to ride my bike a lot, before an injury of sorts took me out of the game for several years. During that time, I rode three RAGBRAIs in a row...what's a RAGBRAI you're wondering, I'm sure. It's a week long bike ride across the state of Iowa, averaging 468 miles for the week, depending on the route! Anyway, one of those years I rode with a really fun team who promoted the motto "ride hard, take chances", which I instantly loved and thought applies not only in biking, but in life.
One year ago I decided on a total whim to create this blog of my own free will, for no pay...and I'm so glad that I did. I would never have imagined what was to happen over the course of the next year, and I doubt I'll have another year quite like it for a long time. As I mentioned in my last post, a whirlwind of events would paint my 2019 as the most exciting year of my career to date, but all outside of my day job! I busted my tail while not quite understanding the path I was taking, only knowing it felt right. So I followed it without judgement or expectations to see where it would lead.
It ended up taking me to a place I finally feel has the potential to fit who I am and what I can happily bring to the table. I never would have known if I hadn't decided to put myself out there via this blog, writing for other publications, higher visibility speaking engagements, and overall being very uncomfortable stretching myself far outside my comfort zone. It's terrifying and rewarding, but something inside of me couldn't sit still until I got here, even though I didn't know what "here" was! I had to trust myself when I likely looked insane to the outside world spending my free time researching/writing/speaking, willingly putting myself through stressful situations, and giving up perfectly stable and solid career paths that didn't require I do any of those extra things.
I haven't always made the right choices, but I still believe in taking chances and embracing the unknown rather than fearing it. Life is too short to wonder what if, and it's rare that great things happen without taking a risk. Some of the most successful people have taken chances only to fail, but continued nonetheless to take more chances and eventually succeed. As they say, "no risk, no reward." Not all rewards need to be monetary, either, that's something important to understand; just like your path is your own, so is what you value. Had I not started this blog, I may never have known the joy I get from being a writer. It's funny because I did not enjoy writing in school, likely because someone else was telling me I had to... But on my terms, writing became much more than a creative outlet (yes, tax writing can lend itself to creativity); it became a trail of breadcrumbs for me to follow on days when I don't feel smart, strong, and beautiful like I do when I write a piece I care about.
I am forever grateful not only for the chances I've been brave enough to take, but for the ones I've been given by some people I greatly admire and respect. They gave me confidence to pursue a dream I didn't even know could be my reality, believing in me when at times I didn't believe in myself. Thank you to those people and anyone who has enjoyed or encouraged my writing, speaking, Twitter sarcasm and gifs, musical selections, relentless quotes, and dog pics - I appreciate you more than you know! It's been a great year; here's to many more for all of us.
Work hard, take chances, and good things will eventually come your way. Wherever the universe continues to take me, I'm sure I'll be here living the tax life.