Stop Saying "Then" and Say "Now": Why Taking Risks are Key to Living Life

A few months ago, I noticed a pattern in not only myself, but in a lot of people around me, evident in phrases like, “I’ll do it when-,” “We should totally do that when,” and my personal favorite by me, “That’s tomorrow’s problem.” What if we stopped holding off for tomorrow and experienced now? Why wait for a specific time in our lives to make things happen when in reality we could just go out and do it anytime. By holding it off for next week it turns into next month, next year, and ultimately ends up not happening. 


By August, I realized that I had spent all summer not living my best life, not even close to a hot girl summer. I asked myself, what’s holding me back from having the best summer possible? I had a car to take me places and a bit of money saved up, but was experiencing nothing. I realized the only thing holding me back was myself. I’m not saying to have a twenty-four-seven mentality of, “you only live once,” or “live life like it’s your last,”  but why not take some risks? Playing it safe doesn’t fill your life with amazing stories and memories that will last a lifetime. 

The level of risk your willing to take can vary, but for me, I decided to stop playing it safe. Taking a risk meant driving to Cape May, staying down the shore and going to Wawa for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Taking a risk meant road-tripping to Pennsylvania to find three waterfalls. My friend and I took a train into New York after rush hour, didn’t have a plan on what to do, and taking the subway only to get lost but experiencing a part of New York that isn’t on a tourist list. I took a risk when going to a tattoo parlor to get spontaneous piercings and tattoos outlined. I took a risk when I used my whole paycheck to go blonde after wanting to dye my hair for a lifetime. 

None of those experiences would have been possible if I sat home scrolled through my phone looking at Instagram pictures or binge-watching shows. If you're going to binge-watch shows, you might as well do it down the shore in a bungalow with your best friend. If you’re going to post on Instagram, why not post the sunrise at 5:30 am after biking to the beach with a friend? Once I pushed myself out of my house and out of my comfort zone I began having the best summer possible. 


So what’s holding you back from living life to the fullest? We could all make excuses for why we can’t travel and have those experiences, but if you really want something then there’s always a way to get there. So go out there and drive down the shore to watch the sunset or sunrise, buy that ticket to New York just to walk around, book a plane ticket to a different state or out of the country, or dye your hair because you want a new look. Stop looking for permission and worrying about the consequences, but most importantly, stop postponing the life you're supposed to be living because you're just holding yourself back.