Recently, in an intense battle with a former friend, I was told, "stop putting yourself in dangerous situations". In spite of the white-hot anger coursing through my veins, I stopped for a moment.
I was immediately reminded of the thoughts that went through my head following my first experience of assault. "I should really stop being so reckless", I would say to friends. "But I don't think I ever will. Recklessness reminds me that I'm alive."
The same is true today. I look back at the last few years of my life and I can't help but notice that nothing great ever came from playing it safe. Rather, some of the most incredible moments I've ever experienced have been when I've turned my back on the rules.
Yes, I'll admit that in being reckless I've been burned a few times. However, I wouldn't trade moments such as singing along with one of my favourite artists at a gig whilst holding hands with my friends; not for the world. That particular moment wouldn't have happened had I not got on a coach from London to Berlin and stayed in a flat with a bunch of "strangers" (or, as I like to call them, friends!) off the internet.
The thing about being burned is...yes, it leaves me with scars. And sure, I spend a few months dwelling on regret. However, that is far outweighed by the fantastic experiences.
The memories of the great times I've had because of the risks I've taken are very often the things that keep me going. They remind me that I am alive when I've spent months incapable of feeling, and they remind me why I'm alive when I feel like I can't get through another day.
Those memories have saved my life.
So while some may view a lot of my actions in life as dangerous, I view them as necessary. They are both life-changing and also life-saving.