Nashville and Risk Taking

Four more days: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and then my last day of work at my present place of employment on Thursday.   I find it rather darkly humorous that the song running through my head for the past ten days is a song about very high-risk, risk-taking.

Lacy J. Dalton sings it:  16th Avenue.

From the corners of the country
From the cities and the farms
With years and years of living
Tucked up underneath their arms

They walk away from everything
Just to see a dream come true
So God bless the boys who make the noise
On 16th Avenue

With a million dollar spirit
And an old flattop guitar
They drive to town with all they own
In a hundred dollar car

‘Cause one time someone told them
About a friend of a friend they knew
Who owns, you know, a studio
On 16th Avenue

Now some were born to money
They’ve never had to say “Survive”
And others swing a 9 pound hammer
Just to stay alive

There’s cowboys drunks and Christians
Mostly white and black and blue
They’ve all dialed the phone collect to home
From 16th Avenue

Ah, but then one night in some empty room
Where no curtains ever hung
Like a miracle some golden words
Rolled off of someone’s tongue

And after years of being nothing
They’re all looking right at you
And for a while they’ll go in style
On 16th Avenue

It looked so uneventful
So quiet and discreet
But a lot of lives were changed
Down on that little one way street

‘Cause they walk away from everything
Just to see a dream come true
So God bless the boys who make the noise
On 16th Avenue

There are many recordings of this on Youtube,  the one I originally had posted here is no longer available, so here is another recording —  Sixteenth Avenue

Risk taking isn’t always a bad thing.  New inventions, medical cures, space exploration, many dramatic and historic discoveries have happened because someone was brave enough to take a risk.

Had it just been me — had it been only my comfort and well being on the line — I dare say I would have risked it long ago.  But it has never just been my well-being at risk.  It is my husband’s well being as well that is on the line, and so I kept hiding the possibilities behind my back without daring to look.  The risk seemed thoughtless and self-centered, as if my comfort, my passion for a job, was worth taking a risk that could negatively affect my husband as well as myself.

There are unreasonable risks, and there are calculated, well thought out risks.   I have talked about job possibilities with family, friends, and acquaintances for a long time.  Two people gave advice; a third gave a cautious warning.  One of my sisters-in-law said that if my brother couldn’t find the job that suited him he would create it.  She gave some suggestions of ways that I could create my own job.  I filed the thought away.  Then a new friend said pretty much the same thing when we were dinner guests at their home about a year ago.  Those two suggestions germinated in my subconscious and eventually started to grow.  More recently, my cousin urged caution, out of concern for me, saying not to give up my day job before I knew whether I could succeed in the new one.

Although we have often talked about such things, I made the conversation more pointed.  Turning toward my best friend, my Navy veteran husband, I asked him to talk with me about the pros and cons of walking away from a paying job for a created job as a freelance writer.  We talked about my years of experience grant writing, as an entrepreneur writing copy for websites and brochures,  teaching two adjunct courses on English composition,  blog writing, technical writing, obituary writing, years of writing doggerel, and long ago, sermon writing and for rare public speaking events.  We talked about the proofreading I’ve done at my current job.

As he is wont to do, he reminded me that nothing is guaranteed in life;  tomorrow is not promised.  Sometimes it is necessary to take risks.  He reminded me of the quote our pastor mentioned not long ago:   “Worrying is believing that God won’t get it right.”

We went on to discuss the story in scripture about the guy entrusted with money who thought he was virtuous by playing safe and burying the money with which he was entrusted.  But it didn’t turn out so well.  He hadn’t used it at all.  He hadn’t made it grow.  He had wasted time by not trying to use the money to make something good come of it.  He did not turn it to profit.  I have felt like that for a long time.  That I have buried my training and skill set to work at something that I have never suited.

My husband and I are choosing to believe that we are in good hands.  We are daring to trust that the skills and talents I have honed are the tools to create a brighter tomorrow.  Our next steps are taken with high spirits, with excellent advice, amazing people encouraging us, and a rock solid belief that God hasn’t abandoned us.  When we look backward through our days and years, we see with clarity the hand that has brought us through some overwhelming trials and certainly some rough and dangerous seas.

As well as anyone can be prepared for what hasn’t yet happened, I feel prepared.  I stand ready to work hard to change our joint lives for the better, and we will both be thrilled to see some dreams come true.

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