Worth the Risk

ship_storm SIZED

Once in a while a thought comes so strong it blocks out all other thinking temporarily. Even when I move on to other considerations and ideas, the over-riding concept blazes back into my mind frequently.

It was scary as hell when I was deliberating about walking away from my profession with no concrete thought of what was next. There was a dumpster of cranky inquiries as my ego fought the possibility.

What happens if your hopes don’t come true?
What if you run out of money?
What if you’re wrong?
What if others think you are crazy?
What if you want back in and no one wants you?
When are you going to start this new life?
When will you know if you’ve done the right thing or not?
Why do you think you’ll succeed at something new?
Why do you really want to do quit your career?

Five when’s and a pair of when’s and why’s are only the beginning of the consternation I want through. Ultimately there was no logic to walking away from a successful career of decades. Rather it was a feeling in my heart and gut that I just had to. I would suffocate emotionally if I kept on doing the same thing and denying myself a chance at other aspirations. Finally I just said “F’ it”. I know this is what I need to do, although I can’t explain it to anyone else.

Even if no one is watching you, lighting out for new, unmarked territories is terrifying. “We impute a lot of power to the unknown, because it was life-threatening for much of human history… Putting that fear in its proper perspective can help. You are probably not going to fall down a ravine or get eaten by a lion if you move to the opposite coast.”

… the human spirit wants to break out of habitual constraints. Studies confirm… We tend to regret the things we didn’t try more than those we did—even when we fail. http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200611/you-20

Don’t ask me to explain why I resigned years before my planned retirement. I can’t tell you why the desire to travel the world, weeks at a time, burns so hot in my soul. Where I got the idea I could be a writer I am clueless. There is no logic to walking away from a flourishing professional life when all I have are dreams.

And there was the answer. Screw logic and follow your heart! Stop paying so much attention to you mind.

My conclusion became I will find a new path as long as I am speeding 100 miles down the old one. So here I am uncertain, but joyful; a bit perplexed but happy. I cast the lines off and am sailing into what I hope is a ‘new world’. I am grateful for the fortitude and belief in myself that made my new expedition possible. I am worth the risk!

I wondered about the explorers who’d sailed their ships
to the end of the world. How terrified they must have been
when they risked falling over the edge; how amazed
to discover, instead, places they had seen only in their dreams.
Jodi Picoult