I laced my old running shoes on and met an old friend for a stroll this morning.
An hour passed quickly. We shared our whereabouts and doings. We talked about how some of our mutual friends are and what's new in their world. And we talked about risk taking.
Both of us were in "career" type positions for the majority of time in our 20's. For her, corporate, for me, teaching. We used to meet one another after work for happy hour and count down the time to Friday. We once grabbed coffee on a Sunday morning and giggled at ourselves for being stuck in that "daily grind."
Now, two years since our last visit, it's changed. We've changed. The choices we've made have led us in varying directions, but each of us out of the traditional sense of drudgery some people classify as work.
I didn't select a different path than the rest for any other reason than I couldn't imagine my life 30 years from now doing what I was doing; feeling what I was feeling. At the time of stepping away from typical was an adventure, an adventure that I wasn't really sure what it would look like in the end, but I knew I needed it to be different than what I was at the time.
I spoke recently with a mentor about what a risk it was to stop teaching being that, "Retirement is great, benefits are awesome, you get summers " but the reason I taught in the first place was because "kids are great. Learning is pretty cool." Unfortunately, time wore the shine out of teaching for me. The fallback and foundation shifted to waiting for Friday.
And I am responsible for owning that as a story. But I think we're all partially responsible for owning THE story of working for the weekends, of work being lackluster. What if instead Monday was a delight? What if your trade, service, product was your gift to the world? And what if there was no stigma in allowing that to evolve? I wonder what Fridays might feel like then.
I had not previously claimed my career change as courageous. I had put it in the bucket of "expectation" and moved on my way. But I'm ready to claim my bravery. I'm itching to grab it and say,"Yea I challenged my own comfort and made a decision to go after something that let me evolve into more of me." If you're not sure, try it. Especially if it evokes fear. Especially if many people are questioning your notion of leaving comfort. One of my favorite authors and life livers says, "Life is a series of being continually thrown out of the nest." Notice the fear and let go of the grip anyways.