Wednesday, June 13, 2007
A teammate posted a thread on Passion, and described various risks she took in her life to get to where she is today.
And I thought about risk taking.
It's important to be able to take risks - to leave behind everything and venture out into uncharted territory. Whether it's saying Yes, I will become a runner - or Yes, I will control what I eat and create a new body - or Yes, I will leave this job and find something new - or Yes, I will leave this relationship and find one in which I get what I want and need - in all of those, it is essential to jump over the cliff of everything we are used to, and into the abyss of uncertainty.
Otherwise change is not possible.
When I was 33, I got a job teaching in the Virgin Islands. I'd never been here. I had been a Peace Corps Volunteer in Liberia, West Africa - and I knew I loved living in tropical climates. So I packed up everything I owned and put it in a storage unit, or stuffed it into one trunk and one suitcase - and bought a one-way ticket to St. Thomas. That was 20 yrs ago.
I arrived without a hotel reservation, without knowing a soul here. But I did have a job. I found a guest house, eventually found an apartment, after a year I bought a car. I found the synagogue and joined in the community. I met people and joined the Arts Council, and found a part-time job at the Chamber of Commerce.
I met my husband at synagogue here, after I'd been here 8 years. When we got married 3 yrs ago, we had 160 guests - 85 from the mainland, and 75 from here. We are a part of this community, this island.
We'd never have met without the two of us taking the risk of throwing away our former lives and moving to the Caribbean. I wouldn't have the job I love. He wouldn't have the relaxed life he has. We wouldn't be together, we wouldn't know all of our friends here, and we'd be freezing off our gazoobies up north.
So be prepared to jump in and take that risk when it comes.