Judith McNaught once said, “You can’t outwit fate by standing on the sidelines placing little side bets about the outcome of life. Either you wade in and risk everything you have to play the game or you don’t play at all. And if you don’t play you can’t win.”
Are you a risk taker or do you tend to take the safe route in life? Do you prefer to live on the edge, taking risk after risk? Or are you a person that knows the safety of their surroundings and stays within those boundaries? Life is often full of risks and the outcome of those choices we make; whether we take them or not determines where we are in life. It is in those choices will determine the kind of person you will turn out to be. Maybe you are like me, and you tend to play it safe. Occasionally life provides those risk moments for me which often leads to hesitation, weighting the pros and cons, then ultimately an intelligent jump comes; there is never a discussion that is strictly done out of faith and a moment’s reaction. I have never been one of just jump off the driving board into the deep without careful thought and consideration, and I think it is one thing that sometimes holds me back. We all have risky opportunities that comes into our lives; whether it’s going back to school, getting a new job, moving to somewhere unknown, asking the person you like to hang out or on a date, or various other things that come our way that lead us into unfamiliar waters. The decision to go somewhere unknown, unsure of the outcome will not only mold you into a different person, but it will grow you beyond your current capacity. I am treading thoughts, mediation, and tackling difficulties of taking risks is based on my current reading curiosity with the Divergent series by Veronica Roth.
Divergent, the first novel of the Divergent series, is a story of a young girl name Beatrice, or Tris as she is later referred, that takes place in the future city of Chicago where society is divided into five factions; each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent), and within those factions Tris must decide who and where she belongs. On an appointed day of every year also known as Choosing Day, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives to, the saying “Faction over Family” is not taken lightly. Beatrice, who is from Abnegation, must decide if she is to stay safe in her current faction with her family, or take a risk and join the faction she always dreamed of becoming a member of – Dauntless. In a story of growth, and self-discovery, Tris must learn to overcome fear, make new friends, battle her enemies, potentially find love and become the woman she was always meant to be.
I admit, I saw the movie Divergent before I read the book. I know, I have been out of the literary pop-culture for a while, but I did like the movie and I was even more excited to find out it was a book originally. WOOHOO! Those are the best, or they could be the worst thing for some people. Either the movie ruins the book, or the book ruins the movie; you either like the book or you like the movie more, but rarely have I come across a situation where I actually like both the movie and the book (for example, Harry Potter). But thankfully, I liked both the movie and the book. But when reading the book I was struggling with using my own imagination and often viewed the characters from the movie and placed them with the story. This is just lazy reading on my part, but all in all the movie makers did a great job in casting. The book is a simple, easy ready yet complex in detail about something that could possibly happen in the future. The story line was compelling, distinctive, detailed, original and very well written, which is surprising because it is a young adult novel. Lately, in the past 5 years, the novels that have been labeling as “Young Adult” have made quite the impact on the modern literary culture, and this novel is a fine example of that impact. The story was gripping, but it was the characters that ultimately created the bond for me. Tris was a girl I could relate to throughout the book, and it was her bravery and risk taking that drew me to her. How often small girls are considered weak, pathetic, and useless? Tris was able to overcome those stereotypes set against her from the very beginning. She knew who she was and was able to face any difficulty and danger that came into her path. I was jealous of her ability to leap with faith and courage into the unknown, which caused me to look back on my own life. How many opportunities did I miss out on because I didn’t take that risk? Or how many things I learned about myself because I did take the risk when needed? Whether it was a small risk, like asking a crush to come to a party I was holding or taking a risk and moving to London for a few years of my life, each decision has molded and shaped me into the woman who I am. Are there moments where I wish I could re-do? Of course, but my life would not be what it is today if I didn’t allow those moments to happen. Plus, there are still many more risks to be taken or not to be taken in my life, and I know each one will be beneficial to who I am and who I am meant to become.
Now you are thinking… should I read this book?? Yes you should, but be warned it may cause you to look at your own life and re-evaluate some things. Maybe it will help you to take those risks you have been dreading to take, but the book is good and it is only the first of the trilogy. I am looking forward to reading the other two and excited to see how the story progresses, however I am going to have to read them before the other movies come out and ruin the whole thing for me.
Have you read Divergent? What did you think? Leave me a comment on your thoughts about the book!
PS- The picture was one that I took on the top of Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park. I have a fear for heights, so in order for me to get to the top I had to overcome my fear. I took a risk, and this picture is the outcome. So worth it!