In Which I Might Be Singing the Praises of Being Reckless

It’s 7:40 on New Year’s Eve, and my entire family has already eaten most of the traditional cheesecake. We usually wait until midnight before we dig in. But, this year, we wanted to eat it early – so we did. It got me thinking about what I learned this year.

I’ve always been a pacer. You know the type – the person who circles a decision thirty times before making it. I make pros and cons lists. I text my #squad like

guys this is serious

i need opinions

why is no one answering me i’m in crisis

HELP it’s the last week of holiday drinks and i have to choose between a peppermint mocha and an eggnog latte sound off opinions pls

And then after careful consideration I make my choice (eggnog, obvi).

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This year, I made some scary decisions. The kind you can’t change. Those are the ones that freak the sh** out of me. The ones you can’t be like JK TAKESIES BACKSIES. I quit a job on a conference call. I sent an email terminating a professional relationship. I cut my hair off.

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I didn’t really realize I was becoming this jumping person until we were hanging out with some friends from church, and they asked how to know whether or not they are ready to date.

Before my wise husband could say anything, I kind of snort laughed and told them that you’re not ready for things, sometimes. You just effing do them. I then proceeded to tell them that I thought that the best dating policy is something along the lines of hey do you like each other are both of you single then go for it. Kiss and fall in love and take some risks. If it works, great. If not, you learn.

And I was promptly uninvited from having any influential conversations with young twenty-somethings ever again. Not really. But kind of. (I’ll work on my delivery. Maybe.)

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Now, this message isn’t for everyone. One of my closest girls, when I mentioned this idea, was like I won’t lie that’s kind of scary. And I have to say – it so is. And this goes out to all my pacers, out there. My list-ers. My text-a-thousand-people-before-making -a-decison-ers. My peeps who look over the cliff and need to just jump.

(If you’re overly impulsive, then don’t listen to this. This isn’t for you. Go away and find another blog about how to properly use a day planner and for the love of all things good stop getting split-second tattoos, because that Spongebob Squarepants ink ain’t never coming off. That is not the type of jumping I’m talking about.)

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This is just for the people like me, who take shaky breaths and think too much about the what if I regret this. What if I’m not ready for this.

I was the last one awake a few nights ago. My daughter was kicking my spleen (okay I’ll be real and admit I don’t know where my spleen is so basically she was kicking my general middle area). My husband’s fingers were touching mine, and Cricket, our puppy we swore up and down we were NOT KEEPING had slipped up from her place on the foot of the bed and curled up by my shoulder. I realized, as I stared up at the ceiling, that my bed is full of decisions I was not ready for.

When Ross and I decided to get married we were discussing what we were going to do after graduation and he was like “well… I have an idea, but you might think it’s crazy.” And we decided to get married. I freaked out all year about it. What if I don’t like him in a year. I’m twenty-two. What if. 

But I knew, deep down, that he was my guy. I prayed and I felt steady about it. I kept waiting for that giddy I’M SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS OMG feeling, but it didn’t come. I wasn’t full of sparkles and glitter and confetti. It was more like a steady-burning coal, deep in my gut. I knew I was making a good decision, but I was still scared as hell.

Come my wedding day, I didn’t wake up smiling while little birdies put Baby’s Breath in my hair. I woke up and thought shit I don’t have a razor and I can’t get married with unshaved legs so I went to Albertson’s before anyone else woke up and stood in the hygiene aisle in my stained sweatpants asking strangers what kind of razors do you use if you’re getting married I know that’s a weird question but like is this the day to splurge on a nice one or should I just be utilitarian and go for the Valu-Pac help I’m getting married wait should I have waxed what the hell was I thinking waiting until now to debate this

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During the entire ceremony, all I could think about was that scene from The Incredibles where Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl are getting married. That’s seriously what I was thinking:

“I, Katharyn,…” *Pay attention you’re making LIFELONG VOWS, RIGHT NOW. STOP THINKING ABOUT THE INCREDIBLES* “Take thee, Ross” *When are they making that sequel? It’s been like… ten years. When did I see that? Middle school?* *PAY ATTENTION OMG* “To be my lawfully wedded husband” *but seriously that movie was so good. Why weren’t Bob and Helen’s parents in that scene? Do they not have parents? That doesn’t make sense* *OMG SERIOUSLY KATIE STAHHP*

I wasn’t “ready” for that day. It just happened, and I jumped.

Aryn wasn’t a surprise. I just started to feel like there was someone missing. I told Ross that I thought someone was missing, and he agreed. We both knew we weren’t ever going to be “ready” to completely upend our life with a baby. We just jumped.

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We were NOT GOING TO KEEP THE DOG. We were going to find her a home because there was no way we have the time or energy to keep a puppy. But she just melted our hearts and Aryn calls her “Cicket” and we just jumped.

There are some things worth scouting. There are decisions that need to be considered and weighed. But once you decide… just do it. Don’t be so afraid of regret that you just stand still doing nothing.

So as much as this year was about trying, I also think this year was about learning to jump. Push “send”. Say the words you can’t take back. Eat half the cheesecake before the ball even drops on the east coast.

In 2016,

jump.

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