Sunday, August 30, 2009

The jumping-off point.

When you reach the point where you've exhausted all the possibilities of your present life, you choose another one -- just like a mountain climber who goes for the top only to start looking for the next one.

-- Joschka Fischer, German Vice Chairman/Foreign Minister

For years, I've carried that quote around with me, along with a bunch of others that speak to my longing. What they all have in common are the core themes of change, strength, courage and personal satisfaction. I've lacked most of those as I've drifted through my life, taking the most from opportunity where it arose, but never really searching it out or fighting for what I really wanted. If there was a quote I could take as my own truth, it would be something along the lines of the Cowardly Lion's soliloquy on Courage. ("What makes the Hottentots so hot? What put the ape in apricot? What have they got that I haven't got?")

It takes Courage to walk away from the status quo, figure out what you want to do, who you sincerely want to be, and it just hasn't been there for me. I've found myself idly expecting an answer to arise, but knowing deep down that it wasn't going to come by sheer wanting, or by carrying around quotes from people who've done what I wished I could do. And that wish? To change my life.

I share Joschka Fischer's quote because the first phrase tells my story: I've done about as much as I can do in my current life, professionally, at least, and I've come to realize that I have two choices. One choice is to continue doing what I've always done, and be more than vaguely dissatisfied with my lot in life, and with myself. The other choice is to forge ahead into the infinite abyss of possibility.

Over the next several months, I'll be exploring that deep unknown to find my calling, or at least something that feels more like who I am and makes the most of the best parts of me. I have a few ideas about what that might be, but I'm not limiting myself to those areas. I have no illusions that it will be quick, or easy; in fact, I'm sure there will be plenty of times when I'll be ready to give in and go back to what I was doing. I am hoping that I'll have the courage to stick it out and find what makes me happy.

And I'm planning to have a bit of fun on the way, because fun is part of the equation, too. One thing I haven't had enough of in my life over the past several years is laughter and silliness, and I want that deficit reversed.

So, off I go. Wish me luck.

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