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  • Funny How the World Works (Some Thoughts on Taking Risks)
Funny How the World Works (Some Thoughts on Taking Risks)
Written by
Alissa Johnson
March 2013
Written by
Alissa Johnson
March 2013

When I was still hemming and hawing over whether or not to quit my day job, I told a friend that I felt like I was stalling. That pretty soon, the Universe was going to throw up its hands in disgust and walk away from me because I couldn't make up my mind.

Now that I've taken the leap, things are starting to fall into place in ways I couldn't have foreseen. I scheduled a haircut with someone I haven't gone to in over a year, and it turns out her sister might need some writing help. I get an email out of the blue from a publishing website suggesting that I might be a good fit for a feature on their site. I get a voicemail message from the director of a local nonprofit who might need some help. Frankly, it feels like magic.

I feel the need to point out that none of these things has turned into a solid, sure bet. Realistically, not all of them will. (This is my way of knocking on wood... ) But I'm writing about it because I believe it's one more example of how the push and pull of the universe works, and in many ways how writing works.

What we put out into the world won't always come back to us in the way we ask, but something does--and I'm pretty sure that if we never put ourselves out there at all, the unexpected (and pleasant) surprises wouldn't come either.

We have to show up in order to see results. But all of these unexpected surprises are reminders that while diligence and persistence and taking risks are important, so is letting go. It's a continual balance: send our signals, and relax.

I sometimes wonder if I write about these kinds of topics too much. If my posts all start to sound familiar and people role their eyes, Here she goes again. But it's a part of life and writing that doesn't get a lot of attention in the every day world. It's an insight that I need to remind myself over and over and over again, and it makes me curious--does it work this way for others?

I think it does. I watch my boyfriend put a construction ad in the paper, and it just so happens that the next day someone calls him about work--someone who didn't see the ad. A friend admits out loud she wants to lead yoga retreats, and within weeks she has her first opportunity--unsolicited by her. But I'm curious what others think, and I wonder if we can start a conversation. Is there a mystical or spiritual component to life and writing for you? Do you have these moments, too?

Let's be friends

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