Famous last words

Said you heard every word
But I watched you turn away
Your eyes grew colder than winter
“Love is so intrusive”
I thought I heard you say
And laugh so unconvincingly

Famous last words
‘I’m not ready yet’
‘I won’t be gone a minute…’

Narrow is the road
And too high a price to pay
Loneliness is such a sanctuary
Empty are the musings
And wasted are the days
You said you were only waiting…

Famous last words
‘I’m not ready yet’
‘I won’t be gone a minute,
But I won’t forget’
Famous last words
Tomorrow never comes
Will I ever know that I was in love?

Said you heard every word
But I watched you turn away
You said you were only waiting…

Famous last words
‘I’m not ready yet’
‘I won’t be gone a minute’

— Famous Last Words by Jars of Clay

If you’ve been following this blog at all, you may have noticed that I have become incredibly gunshy and risk-averse. I’m instinctively not a risk taker. I have literally told friends that I have made it a life goal to take as few risks as possible in order to prevent the negative consequences.

But you know what? As they wisely responded to me, a certain degree of risk is unavoidable in life. You take a risk getting in your car and driving to work every day or walking outside in a storm. Sure, you can keep the risks you take to an absolute minimum, but where does that get you in life?

Everyone who knows me even a little bit knows I love (and quote incessantly from) Seinfeld, but I also enjoy a number of other shows, including Family Guy. One of my favorite episodes involves baby Stewie Griffin — known for his plots to take over the world — traveling in time to meet his future self.

Baby Stewie is disappointed to find that his future self is not of the world domination variety. Instead he is a lonely virgin with a dead-end job who refuses to take a great opportunity (a very sweet and interested woman at work). When Baby Stewie cajoles him into it, he fails miserably at the sexual experience. The woman goes back to work and tells the manager about what happened on their disappointing date, and Adult Stewie loses his job as a result. He also forgets about the candles he had lit for this event and accidentally burns his apartment down…blaming Baby Stewie for everything. Literally by avoiding risks in life, Adult Stewie lost what little he had.

At the end of all this, Baby Stewie asks Adult Stewie how he turned out to be so pathetic. He pauses for a moment to recall and then remembers that he nearly drowned in a pool when he was a baby and that made him averse to risk for the rest of his life…and basically rendered him a loser. He never learned that just because one risk has a bad consequence that all risks have bad consequences. Instead, like me, he merely retreated because he was living his whole life in fear of what might go wrong.

A horrified Baby Stewie goes back in time to prevent the pool incident from occurring because he decides that it would be more important for him to alter the space-time continuum than to end up like Adult Stewie did.

Transitioning to my real life, I realize that I could do better for myself if only I took a few measured risks. You’re never going to see me throwing down thousands of dollars in a casino or running one of those get-rich-quick schemes, but I must teach (force?) myself to stick my neck out a little bit once in a while if the risk is worthwhile.

I took a small risk recently, and thus far it has paid some very nice dividends. This was one day that was not wasted. Let’s just hope those are not famous last words.

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