After a year of dating, I asked Nesrin to marry me.
She looked at me, held my hand and replied… NO, thank you!
A slow minute of silence past by and then she began to explain her reason… “The moment we get married, you will stop taking risks. You will feel that you are responsible for my wellbeing and you will think twice before taking a risk! This is normal as it happens to everyone once they get married.”
Risk is defined in the dictionary as the possibility that something unpleasant or unwelcome will happen. In reality, everything that one does in their life requires a certain amount of risk! To learn to ride a bike, taking exams at school, accepting a new job or even asking someone for a date, all require a form of risk taking. You could fall, get an F, get fired or better, could be rejected and stay home alone. The key is to learn, adjust and move to the next challenge!
As a young man, I was constantly involved in different projects, creating ideas and searching for opportunities. I was very focused on my dreams, taking risks for personal or financial growth. After high school, I left the comfort of my home in Ecuador and traveled to the USA looking for a purpose. I arrived in Gainesville, Florida with a limited English and very little cash. I worked as a laborer, baker, door-to-door salesman, while paying my way through school. In college I was among the founders of a fraternity, created a magazine and built a student discount card. Always taking chances and many times failing. The most important thing was that I did not surrender and I aspired for better. At night I could not sleep thinking what is next, how can I stay ahead of the pack.
We all have dreams, we all want to be musicians, dancers, writers, politicians, and so on… but only a few are willing to take the risks. The majority are afraid of failing. Making mistakes is part of life and growing up. Mistakes are what we call experience! If you are not failing it is because you are not risking enough!
The majority of times when you talk to an older person, they will say “IF I was your age, I WOULD be doing so and so….”, when I get older I will say “ WHEN I was your age, I WAS doing so and so…” I was there… very important. Rich or poor when you’re laying in bed as an old man, the only thing that you have are your memories or regrets!
Leo F. Buscaglia, an American author also known as "Dr. Love," perfectly describes what I am trying to transmit: “The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.”
Nesrin was concerned that I will lose my adventurous spirit by marrying her, but two years later I was able to convince her to marry me. After our marriage, at one point, I did become complacent and less bold but it did not last long. Nesrin cracked the whip and got me back on my feet. She said “I need to see the fire in your eyes that I fell in love with! We can lose and rebuild again, just do not stop taking risks."
Who I am today as a person is largely due to my failures!