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Risk Taker

bridgetmartha's picture

As soon as we started talking about choosing an avatar that ties into our identity, I knew the exact picture I wanted to use. It's from a trip my family took, and I remember virtually nothing from this trip, as I was only about seven years old. We (left to right, it's me, my father, and my older sister) are laying on  a section of the Cliffs of Moher outside Shannon, Ireland, and of these I remember only that: 1, the faces of the cliffs were covered with puffins; and 2, we wandered all the way to the edge in spite of my mother's most adament protests. I believe now that I did so with a child's preference of curiosity over risk and danger (and I also believe that now, 13 years later, the cliffs are likely fenced off so that tourists like us can't wander up and hang our legs over the edge). But I use this decision--this moment in time, a magical and foreign moment preserved concretely in a photograph--as the root of my courage. Years after this photo was taken my willingness to wander, literally and figuratively, outside of my comfort zone, waned. It has been only in the last couple of years that I have been attempting to reclaim the curiosity and childlike bravery (or, okay, recklessness) that were once such a central part of my identity, and, in doing so, that I have rediscovered one central part of my identity that I get to choose: the side of me that embraces change, adventure, and, most importantly, risk, in every part of my life.