Came across the question 'What's the biggest gamble you have ever taken?' and thought answering it would be an interesting exercise in self-reflection. Or maybe not. Let's see...
The first major gamble of my adult life would be be the one I took upon as a 20 year old, by having a child and knowing I would be raising her on my own. And I did raise her on my own. For 9 long years that went ridiculously fast. This gamble totally paid off because as serious as I thought I was a person beforehand, becoming a mother & the responsibility that came with it, made me so much more so (serious). I stopped with the haphazard/luck-be-a-lady approach to life I had led up to that point and chose to allow myself to be anchored to something more constant.
This gamble introduced the notion of stability into my life and taught me to see the benefit of playing the 'long game'. How so? Well, for someone such as I used to be, a sucker for instant gratification, instant results & instant karma I learnt the value of sowing seeds and tending to them without worrying about the harvest.
Let's take my professional career for example, there was a point in my early 20s' that I came to believe that the window of opportunity was so short that I could not afford to say no to work. There was so much 'I' wanted to do, to achieve, to accomplish so much so that for the first few years I threw myself into work commitments without fully respecting my personal circumstance i.e our little family of two.
In a way, I denied the reality of my situation - in my mind, part of the gamble I had undertaken in having my child also involved me 'having it all' when it came to work. Otherwise I would be a failure mom, right? But having it all is never truly that because it comes at the detriment of other factors of your life so in truth you are not having it all but having 68% or 74% or a number equally as random.
So, I learnt to put 'I' aside and focus instead on 'us'. The gamble continued changing shape & I continued growing within the gamble. Being a great mom was more important than being the young new blood on the biggest agent's book. My child needed me more than I needed that level of validation (and believe me that is all that is) so I learnt to prioritise whilst being more directive. I re-evaluated, revised & rejigged my mid to long-term goals to make sure it made sense alongside the gamble. I became more self-less and to trust that all is and will be well because what you keep close to your heart will surely manifest. At no point did I stop dreaming, if anything I dreamt bigger because I wanted more for 'us' than I ever did just for me but I became more pragmatic about achieving my life goals.
My gamble was one that gave me many many sleepless nights, brought tears, anxiety and stress my way but it has also been the making of me. I am stronger a person, more patient, loving, supportive, empathic, generous, ambitious, strong-willed, demanding, resolute, successful...I could go on but put simply, I am more a person for having taken on that gamble.
It would be nice & neat to end by saying that I no longer regard it as a gamble but that would be untrue. I will end by sharing the essence of my learning over the past 9 years and a bit. Nothing is beyond us nor is anything too much for the human spirit to cope with, in fact, the spirit thrives under unfavourable circumstance. Ask Nelson Mandela if you don't believe me!
What is the biggest gamble you have ever taken? I would genuinely love to know :)