BY JAZMINE SALACH, SENIOR WRITER
I am not a risk taker. Sure, I’ll get a spontaneous tattoo or another piercing. Yeah, I use my heart more than my head, but I never risk anything. I especially never take a risk on someone else, putting my heart on the line. It just isn’t what I do.
Four days ago, I put a letter in a mailbox. The words were fluid and slanted to the right just a bit on the blue lines. I talked about how the meaning of a handwritten letter has been lost in translation over the years; the best part of writing in ink is that you don’t want to make a mistake. You would hate to see the little black smudge where you scribbled out a too-vague word or the wrong phrase, so each word and punctuation mark is meticulously chosen to portray the right thoughts and feelings.
I also wrote about the point when two people meet and there is an overwhelming connection that is rare between people who hardly know each other. And that it didn’t matter what had happened then or what would happen in the future, just that I had these thoughts bouncing around in my head, and I would go crazy if I didn’t let them out.
Lastly, I said all is well and that if he laughed or ripped the letter up or responded it didn’t matter, because I did what I had to do. I finally took a risk and you know what, everything is fantastic.
Something about being over here has made me realize that it doesn’t matter what people’s reactions are to actions and thoughts and opinions; what is truly important is if I feel strongly enough about something, I have to act on it. What good is life without taking a risk on a person, an impulse, vacation, conversation or thought? Most of the friends I’ve made I will never see again and I’m going to tell each and every one of them how I’m feeling and why I love them so much.
Life is short. We hear that every day. So do something about it. I know that I have a million dreams and aspirations, but I am making a promise to myself. Every single one of them is getting done. I am going to sing on a stage, go to Brazil, perform slam poetry, write a book, change people’s lives, travel the world with my best friend and write in abandoned buildings, see the pyramids, fall in love and live my life the way I want to. If I don’t want to be stuck behind a desk filling out paperwork for the rest of my life. I’m just going to be me.
I’m not settling for ordinary. I want every day to hold a new adventure, and if you all know me as well as I think you do, you know I will accomplish this.
Studying abroad has been a huge adventure. Tomorrow, I leave for Morocco, a place that I never thought I would visit in this lifetime. My mind is blown by all I’ve seen and done, but I wouldn’t change a thing. Yesterday, my friend said, “I’ve been gone for a year. I think it’s time to go home.” You can always go home, but that doesn’t mean the adventure ends. Keep that in mind, friends. We make our own adventures. Now get to it.