|Street food vendors in Mexico City|
I have a friend who is working in Cambodia for three months. He recently posted a photo of flooding in the area where he is temporarily residing while on a teaching gig for nurses. Someone commented "be careful" and it really tripped my trigger. Granted, be careful is a common thing people say without much thought. But I have to tell you, my inner rebel mentally holds up two hands sporting my middle fingers when someone says it to me. Shocking, I know. But she's in there.
Do you remember when you were a child being told to be careful to stay within the lines while coloring? Don't talk to strangers, they said. Be careful to bundle up, it's cold out there. Be careful to follow the recipe. Be careful, it's dark by 8.
I don't want to be careful. I don't want to be afraid to drive down an unknown road. I don't want to live in so much fear that I can't visit a place I've never been, except maybe Afghanistan. Okay, you have me there. I don't want to avoid that homeless person who is sitting on the corner with a sign . I don't want to not talk to strangers. I don't want to not have the difficult conversations with people. I don't want to follow the recipe to the "T".
Recently, my hubby said be careful when I traveled to Nashville with my good friend. Apparently, Nashville has a very high crime. What town doesn't these days? I couldn't even believe he said it to me. This is the same man who took me to Mexico City a couple years ago.
We arrived in Mexico City at 10 o'clock at night armed with very little Spanish under our belts and took the subway, in the freaking dark, to our hotel. There are nearly 21,000,000 (that's million!) people living in Mexico City. I admit I had fear, and I'm sure if he was honest, he did too. We pushed past it and got ourselves to the hotel. The next day, we found our way back to the subway and went all over MC for the next 5 days. It was crazy fun and I loved every minute of it. One day we met a guy (Arturo) on the corner who wanted us to rent a taxi from his cousin. He said he would drive us anywhere we wanted to go for cheap. Red flags went up for me. No way was I going to go. I pictured my hubby and me on the front page of the newspaper as American tourists gone missing. We saw that guy every single day we were there and I looked him straight in the eye and said, "no, we're not going with you". Yes, I was guilty of being careful.
I have hundreds of examples of not being careful that have turned out just fine for me.
In the future, I hope you'll think about it before you carelessly say be careful. Is it necessary to be careful all the time?