I have been reading Poke The Box. There are those at work who think that reading is… a waste of time.
Everyone is waiting to get picked. Everyone is waiting for people to tell us that it’s okay to do whatever it is we want to do. We don’t have to wait, though. We can break the rules and pick ourselves.
It’s scary to poke the box… it’s scary to step out into the street where there isn’t a WALK sign even if you have checked and re-checked to make sure that you aren’t going to step out directly in the path of the bus or trailer truck. It’s scary to take the chance on the dream you’ve always had, change is scary, leaving the security of the known is scary. Believe me, I KNOW how scary any and all of these are.
You aren’t assured of being a success just because you are trying. You may fail. Odds are you will fail. But what will happen if you do fail, as long as you pack your own parachute and have a fall back plan? You revise your dream, find a new way to attack the path to the dream, or find a new dream.
I’m not suggesting, in any way, that it would be a good idea to get up one morning and running pell mell… helter skelter… into any spur of the moment idea. And not at the cost of doing what you need to do to feed the people and animals that rely on you for sustinence. That would be reckless and careless and unwise.
Make your plans.
Pack your parachute.
MAYBE take a few jumps off of the back porch… off of a tree limb… off the rafters of the barn and into the hay mow… see how the feeling of the short free falls feels.
Write a few short stories or magazine articles.
Submit a poem to an anthology (NOT the ones that you have to pay… magazines that pay in copies are better places to see your name in print)
Volunteer at a school or company doing whatever it is that you think you might want to do… becoming indespensible as a volunteer is sometimes a good place to land a real job.
Even though the economy is not fantabulisticly wonderful… you can start to take tentative steps one hour at a time… when do you have an hour, a half hour, fifteen minutes that you could put even one or two steps into your dream? Even fifteen minutes at a time add up. Use that fifteen minutes to read a paragraph in a text book that you get from the library or a used book store or from an online resource.
If I can do it, anyone can.