I remember watching a Discovery Channel special on sharks—an hour of close-up videos showing huge fangs and a voice-over emphasizing that sharks are “beautiful, misunderstood creatures.” The host (sorry, I’m not good with names) said that sharks aren’t really evil; people just fear them because they don’t know anything about them. Maybe it’s true, but I can’t swim so I really don’t think I’ll be coming across a shark soon (unless it’s safely inside an aquarium).

Shark silhouette

Is lack of understanding (or knowledge) really the reason why we fear the things we’re scared about? Very few people know how deathly afraid I am of snakes—I can’t take seeing them, I freak out even if they’re just on TV. I cover my eyes whenever I stumble upon a TV show about them. There’s just something about a snake’s eyes that really scares me (probably because I’ve been almost bitten by one during my childhood). Is it because I just don’t understand snakes that’s why I fear them? I guess so, but knowing this still doesn’t take out the fear in me.

I’ve noticed this “fear of the unknown” manifest even in simple, everyday things. There are people who unconsciously get into relationships where they know they’ll have an “escape route,” probably because they’re scared of the possibility of getting hurt (or not knowing if they’ll get hurt or not). Some will decide to order their “regular” instead of a new item on the menu, for fear that the new item isn’t good (and they’ll just waste their money).

In my opinion, I think that’s also the reason why risk-takers like taking risks. They don’t know what’s going to happen to them, and the fear that the unknown brings makes it more exciting.

I’m a very boring person. I don’t like taking risks—well, at least, not that much. After all, I did take the plunge of straying away from the corporate world to start up my own business a few years ago. But my risk-taking does have a limit.

Before we got married, Marc and I have had thoughts of us both running Sheero Media Solutions full-time. We thought that this would lower our salary expenses since Marc himself would be able to work on projects instead of us getting somebody else to do them. But after talking to an aunt, we decided against it: the time wasn’t right for both us of to be “technically unemployed.” Marc will have the stable job, while I get to run free doing web design and stuff for our business. Yeah, I know, it doesn’t seem fair. But it was a decision that we had to make—the lesser of two evils. It was better than risking everything and go hungry when there aren’t projects to sustain us.

For the past month, Marc had been showing signs of boredom with his work—he even got to the point of actually enjoying being suspended for an unauthorized absence. It wasn’t healthy anymore. So when he broached the subject of resigning to me once again a few days ago, I didn’t stop him. Not this time.

It’s a scary thought, not having a regular income. I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen to us now that we’re both working on our small design firm full-time. It could be a good decision, or a bad one—but we’ll only know that in few months’ time. Right now, we don’t know if we made the right decision. The thought of not knowing how we’ll fair (and not even knowing if we’ll have enough to pay for our regular expenses), is really scary.

But then again, Marc (or even me) can always get back into the corporate rat race. So maybe this risk we took isn’t so bad after all.