I've never been much of a dare devil. When presented with the question, 'Truth or Dare?' I will always choose to divulge a lesser-known factoid over risking having to act on whichever dare with which I might be presented. Whenever possible, I leave nothing to chance.
Personally, I prefer to keep my thrills more subtle and usually more private. When I was a child, I rarely played on the monkey bars. I was willing to give everything a try at least once and I have indeed had my share of action and adventure.
When I was twelve years old, I was almost drowned by the undertow of a ten foot wave. I was a novice body-surfer and though it seemed like only moments to the video camera footage, for me it was terrifying to realize I might never claw my way up onto shore.
But I did. I didn't dare give up so easily.
Now, I always say that I would never jump out of a plane or bungee jump. In fact, I don't ever plan to go downhill skiing again, because the thought of propelling down a frozen mountainside even one more time just doesn't do it for me. I don't enjoy it at all. My sense of adventure has become more internal.
Some of us just don't like adrenaline and others are adrenaline junkies. Though I don't get it, I appreciate it, because different people make life interesting. Leaving the risk-taking up to those who want to go for it, from my comfy safe chair, I can't help but conjure that paraprosdokian phrase, 'You don't need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.' (Often things are funny because they're true but this one is not so humorous to me.)
Human interaction, with the exception of life or death situations, shouldn't affect the reptile brain let alone trigger the fight/flight response. We need to seek guidance when the need to fight overwhelms our deep desire for harmony. Pent-up anger and anxiety can be cleared naturally by the shifting of brainwaves and recontextualizing conflict in general.
Everyone knows the famous quote my personally most-treasured role model, Helen Keller: "Life is either a daring adventure or it's nothing at all."
For those who don't know, Keller was stricken with a devastating virus as a young toddler, leaving her with no hearing or sight. As a child, she ran wild, having no ability to communicate, until she met a teacher named Anne Sullivan, who made a breakthrough with Keller through tactile sign language. It is a fascinating story that I'd like to see Hollywood make into something profound. If, that is, they can get the point, which, to me, is that utter thrill of breaking through obstacles which would make most cower and run away. If only we knew how unbreakable the human spirit can be!
Helen Keller went on to become a famous author and through her words, that unbreakable spirit is obvious and inspiring. We need to embrace the daring adventures that life gives us and make choices to practice trepidation or courage, wavering or craving, scrutiny or gut feelings.
Parenthood, to me, is the most daring adventure. As a truly hopeful romantic, I've always been willing to take risks for the heart, always giving my heart without fear. I've always known that the well of love never dries up and we never lose what we give away if it's blessed with loving intention.
Indeed, there are adrenaline junkies guarding their hearts carefully, because what some people fear is love. This might be ironic to some but it makes perfect sense to others.
Either way, it's built into our DNA to be daring. It is a primal appeal.
Just because I don't live dangerously doesn't mean that I don't have a few tricks up my sleeve. I can't tell you about that, though, because then I'd have to destroy you. But I dare you to ask!