And by “jazz” I don’t mean the dance classes I took as a kid when I’d lunge across a mirrored room wearing a unitard and leg warmers doing artful gyrations to Frank Stallone songs. (Why, oh, why?)
The other night, my sister and I went to see her friend, Kate Reid, perform with her jazz quartet. Wow, what a voice this woman has. She was doing things with it I’d never heard an instrument do.
It being jazz, of course, once they choose the song and the key, there’s a lot of leeway in the performance. So when we asked Kate how much risk she and her band take, she said they try something new each and every time. Then she laughed. “Sometimes we make mistakes,” Kate said, “and sometimes we get really lost in the mistakes and it’s all about finding our way back.” But, she said, it’s those very risks that sometimes pay off with a great moment in a great song. Without the risks, of course, it wouldn’t be jazz. And the bigger the risk, the better the performance can be.
That’s just like love, isn’t it: If we don’t take risks in our own lives, we’re just re-living the same old replayed song.
What about you? Are you dating the same types of people over and over again? Are you setting yourself up for the same relationships like a record you’ve heard a million times? Maybe you’re choosing people who don’t want to settle down, or people who don’t want to grow up, or even people who just don’t keep you interested. Don’t hold yourself back that way. Give yourself the chance to have something amazing by taking risks with your heart. Open yourself up and put yourself out there for something wonderful.
If you’re not ready to do something big for a relationship, start with something small. Wink at the cute person you always see on your way to work. Call that long-lost old flame. Accept the offer for a blind date. Kiss the friend you have chemistry with. Yeah, maybe you’ll make mistakes and get a little lost and have to find your way back like the Kate Reid Quartet, but it’s those risks that pay off. And if nothing else—like a few bad notes—at least you can laugh about it later and know you should never try that again. But the positive is possible, too: That risk you take may just turn out to be the best thing you’ve ever done.
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