I Hate That I’ve Become So Risk-Averse

Living your life in fear isn’t really living

Ryan Fan
6 min readNov 6, 2022
Photo by Edge2Edge Media on Unsplash

“Don’t write about controversial topics or say your opinions, Ryan. It come back to haunt you years from now. You’re going to be a lawyer.”

I wish these were just words someone else told me — it would make it easier to just shrug them off. But they’re words I tell myself, as I’ve become significantly more risk-averse than I’ve been in the past.

Right now, I’m in my first year of law school at night. I’m also working a very legalistic job as the person who chairs IEP meetings and ensures special education paperwork is done.

At my job, covering my behind is the name of the game. My colleague reminds me to not trust any verbal guarantees or promises. To cover ourselves, we need a parent’s consent or authorization to share files in writing. It’s not only legal requirements, but I find I have to hold my tongue and not say what I really think a lot more often than I used to.

I used to take risks all the time. I used to just write whatever I wanted to and put it online, without fear of backlash or without fear of professional repercussions as long as I didn’t reveal any confidential information.

As I’ve advanced, the stakes have changed



Ryan Fan

Believer, Baltimore City IEP Chair, and 2:39 marathon runner. Diehard fan of “The Wire.” Support me by becoming a Medium member: https://bit.ly/39Cybb8