Why I Need More Birthday Parties


More Birthday Parties

Yep, that's me (the one with the American Girl in her lap). Roller skating joint birthday party. Ballin'.

I need more birthday parties in my life.

I know we're only supposed to get one per year, but allow me to explain myself.


It's not that I have an affinity for cakes with my name on them or doing the limbo on roller skates (I'm quite terrible at it). It's not even that I want more presents (though who would complain?).

It's that I'm tired of being safe.

That sounds like it makes no sense, but hear me out (what all good points start out with, right?).

This past weekend I went to the Quitter Conference, presented by Jon Acuff.

It probably only takes a 5-minute perusal of my blog to figure out I pretty much just want to steal all his ideas. He's someone I admire, not only as a writer, but as someone who continually presents concepts and approaches I've never thought of before (hence my desire to steal them all). Plus he's quite hilarious.

The conference was based on his book, Quitter, which is about "closing the gap between your day job and your dream job." (To learn more, you can read my post about it here.)

The conference was so encouraging, and I'm so thankful for the opportunity to attend (and without even leaving my city, no less).

Back to birthday parties.

Something Jon said this weekend really stuck with me (paraphrased):

Chasing your dream can sometimes feel a lot like throwing a birthday party in the 7th grade. You invite everyone, then stand by the window and wait, just hoping and praying people are going to show up.

But the only way to fix that feeling of uncertainty and fear is to not throw birthday parties at all. And what kind of life is that to live?

If you don't know me, or you couldn't already tell from my blog, I am not a risk-taker. Let's just be honest. I'm a creature of habit, and I like it that way. It's cozy there.

And I struggle to put myself out on a limb without worrying about how I will be received. I struggle to not care what other people think.

I know Jon was talking about chasing dreams, but I think this can apply not only to my writing, but to the rest of my life.

I don't want a life without birthday parties.

I don't want my life to be a straight line--not too happy, not too sad. Reserved. Controlled.

I want dynamics, even if that means some rough stuff here and there. If you spend your whole life being cautious and protecting yourself from sorrow, you don't give yourself much room to experience joy and passion.

I want more hills. I'm tired of plains.

Don't get me wrong, I don't want bad things to happen.

But I want real.

I want relationship, passion and joy.

And you can't have those things with out letting go of a little control. Without a little risk.

Jon's thought challenged me not to play it so safe. I'm not sure exactly how this will practically play out in my day-to-day yet, but I don't think I'll forget it easily.

Are you ever afraid to "throw birthday parties?" When was a time when taking a risk paid off for you?