Life’s risky, it’s part of the deal

Describe a risk you took that you do not regret.

Today’s prompt

Life’s one huge risk. Everything you do has risks attached to it. I try not to dwell on the past too much. Choices in the past were made for good reasons. Associated risks were part of the deal. Therefore, I typically don’t regret any of the risks I have taken. They’ve contributed to the trajectory my life took, and even my stupidest decisions probably have had some good consequences as well.

Declaring love is a risk. I haven’t done it often, so when I declared love to my wife all these years ago, I was very sure of my case. She made it clear that it wasn’t mutual. It was worth the risk. I don’t regret taking it. She turned around pretty quickly, and we’ve just survived the 13th year. If we can pass this lucky number, what could go wrong? No regrets :).

Assuming responsibility for new life is a risk. Health is not a given. Kids don’t raise themselves. And let’s face it, you never really know if you’re up for it until it’s too late to turn back. I have no regrets of choosing parenthood. We thought a second child would be easier, as we were already experienced. And they would keep each other busy. We were right and wrong. Yes, you’re more confident in caring for a second child, but honestly, it might as well be a result of recklessness out of sheer exhaustion. Who knows. The first year of our second child was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. No regrets. (And no more! Hehe)

Starting an academic career was and still is a risk. Permanent positions are rare, and I might be puked out by the system if the conditions are not in my favor. A lot of it is being at the right place at the right time. I sometimes regret not having taken more secure paths. But then again, I don’t regret having taken this path either. Even if it all ends one day, it was an enjoyable ride on which I learned a lot. I loved my PhD, and I certainly love many – not all – aspects of my current position. Even if I may end up somewhere completely different, I have no regrets. Being the first to learn specific new things is deeply satisfying.

Moving to another country was a risk. I hated every minute of the first six months of living in Germany. I spent most of that time in a state of deep, deep anxiety, where it took me lots of therapy, focus, meditation (but no medication!) to get out of. I’ve learned to love this new country, even if we will perhaps end up back in our home country at some point. It’s been a rough ride, exacerbated by the pandemic, which broke out on the day I moved to Germany. Yet, I have no regrets. I learned, and experienced things, and got to know people that I would otherwise not have. Worth it.

Speaking up is always a risk. Giving your opinion is risky (what if people find you stupid?). Writing a blog is risky (what if people don’t like what you wrote?). Speaking up against unfairness, and actively promoting fairness is risky (what if these people can make or break your career?). I wear my heart upon my sleeve, and actively speak up for what I believe to be fair. I also do not hesitate to consider or discuss alternative viewpoints. I actually like playing devil’s advocate in discussions, as it broadens my understanding of the matter at hand. Closed-mindedness will be our downfall. Although I have found myself in tricky situations because I spoke up where perhaps others would not have, and some people stopped talking to me because of my honesty, I have no regrets. I take pride in being honest and open. I think that – with some notable exceptions – most people I spoke up against respected me for it, despite not necessarily agreeing. Good enough for me.

Life’s risks are kind of part of the deal, aren’t they? Maybe risks are that what makes life worth living? As long as the risk you take doesn’t violate any laws or hurts someone purposefully, risks can be worth considering. Some risks are pretty good.

Published by Robin Heinen

Father of two | Husband | Entomologist and Ecologist | Postdoctoral Researcher @ TUM | Traveler | Coffee Addict

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