I want my boys to fail. Not ultimately, and not incredibly hard, but I want them to know how to recover. I want them to be resilient. I want them to know what it means to work hard for something, even if there’s a chance they might not get it in the end. I’m not very good at that. Let me rephrase: I’m terrible at that. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve tried something new knowing there was a good chance I might not succeed. I’m not a huge risk taker. Which might sound strange coming from someone who’s lived on three continents and traveled to 20+ countries, moved to London after college graduation with a few bucks in savings and a boyfriend, quit a job to move to Africa to build a preschool from the ground up, switched careers and went back to school at 33, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. (and what I really mean to say by that is yadda, yadda, yadda). Yawn.
But I’ve always known I could do those things.
Is that confidence? Is that what I’m hoping for my sons? I guess so. But I hope for more. I hope they try things even if they know there's a chance they could fail. That, to me, is real risk. That’s the kind of risk real risk takers take.
(How much risk would a risk taker risk if he knew he just might fail?)
So as 2015 comes to a close and I sit with my trusty green journal, handwriting my annual New Year’s Resolutions as I do at the end of each December, risk taking will be high on my list this coming year. Not the kind of risk that might be life threatening or dangerous, I’m not interested in skydiving or bungee jumping, thank you very much.