Well, ladies and gents, this is my last column of 2014.
I put a lot of thought into what I wanted this to be about because we have so much coming up. After all, Thanksgiving is almost here, and I could write about what to be thankful for. Christmas is on the horizon, and I could write pages about commercialism or the birth of Christ or the improbability of Santa Claus. I’m also about to begin my last semester of college and my last season as a collegiate athlete, and nostalgia is flaring up alarmingly quickly.
So, there’s plenty of fuel for the literary engines in my brain.
But then I thought about the idea of a new start. New Year’s Day, 2015 and the resolutions that come with it. What do I want to do with my next year, the year in which I begin my life in the real world?
And I thought back to a movie I saw recently – We Bought A Zoo. There’s a part where the main character, played by Matt Damon, tells his son what can be accomplished with just 20 seconds of insane courage.
I have led a small life. Meaningful but small. I have followed a pattern and taken care of business, fulfilling every expectation that has been set for me or by me since I was very young. But I have never been courageous.
I have never been one to take risks or jeopardize my future for something outside of my plan that could add to my happiness. Why? Because it may not work.
Well, I’ve realized that’s just stupid. I will certainly never achieve something I don’t try, so why not reach for something greater? As Wayne Gretzky put it, “You always miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.”
What could I do with 20 seconds of insane courage every day? What if I started to take chances?
Would I stand up for myself to those who think I am incapable of achieving my dreams? Would I apply for jobs I know I have zero chance of getting? Would I make new goals I never thought possible within my lifetime? Would I tell that one person what I think or how I feel despite the reaction I know I’ll get?
Sometimes I wish I were braver. Courage is never comfortable, but I’m about to take a huge step out of my comfort zone after graduation anyway, so I’ve started to consider what I could lose by being brave.
The answer is nothing. There is nothing to lose and everything to gain.
And so, faithful readers, as I leave you to your holidays, I encourage you to find your bravery. Even if only once, suspend all thought and take a chance on something you never thought possible. Be brave. And remember that, regardless of the result of your insane courage, God always has your best interest at heart.
Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year.