Thursday, July 5, 2012

Take the Leap

I received a friend request from my father-in-law the other day. At first, I have to admit, I thought it was a little strange. He's not exactly in the age demographic of most Facebook users. Still, upon giving it some thought, I thought it was pretty cool that he signed up for an account.

After I made the decision to end my career as a teacher, I received a call from a good friend. After he wished me luck, he added how much he admires my willingness to break away from what I was doing to try something new. He admitted that he is not thrilled with his job and wishes he he could change.

I spent 16 years teaching teenagers, or at least, trying to. I was frequently struck by the lack of willingness on the part of students who were making poor decisions to try and change. The thinking seemed to be based on the idea, that their current way of operating might not be working, but at least it was familiar.

It takes guts for a non-runner to try and take up running. At the beginning it's awkward, uncomfortable and frustrating. It's much easier to give up, or better yet, to not even try. Still, I know that it is not only my life that has been transformed by having fought through the uncomfortable initial effort.

We spend so much time talking about how life is too short and trying to live longer and yet, paradoxically, at the same time, staying in situations that just don't work. Often, we are alive, but not fully, trudging through life half asleep.

Of course, I had a little push getting to where I am. I can't deny that my new job comes with a steep learning curve. Still, I feel alive, productive and challenged. If I am successful, and I think I will be, I will also get to change lives. I suspect that there will be days when I will miss teaching. What I know that I will not miss is the feeling of being stuck, of being in a rut, in a situation that no longer felt ideal.

To my friend, my students and all of you I would say, take the leap. I suspect you'll be glad you did.

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