i got a question for ya. How do you know when to jump? i just got done reading a post by one of my favorite authors, Donald Miller. This one, in case you don't already read him. If you don't, you should, you apparently already read blogs and his is much better than mine. Don's been like a jumpmaster in my life since Ballisticat turned me on to him a few years ago now. When i read Don, i can feel the aluminum hull of the plane, the thrum of the engines, feel the wind whipping through the open door. i can see him standing there, goggled and dimpled, smiling at me, one gloved hand gripping the frame and the other patting my shoulder and yelling, "Time to go!" i can see the ground, faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar below and most of all, i can feel the weight of the parachute on my back. With Don, this is a scheduled event. i didn't exactly know what i was getting myself into when i started reading him but i figured it out pretty quick. For a long time now, i knew this moment was going to come. And, more importantly, i wanted it to.
Don's latest is about making a list of your Likes and Dislikes over the past year. He says to use this as a tool for making better choices in the coming years. Wise. Not particularly helpful for me, since i can't remember last year but ... wise.
i won't bore you with my list, (collective sigh of relief) even as short as it is but i will tell you that the first item on the Dislike side would be, "being a carpenter." This is particularly bothersome to me. It means i've spent the vast majority of the last year and indeed, my adult life, doing something i hate. No wonder i'm a grumpy, bitter person. So, you say, simple, just figure out what you want to do and do it instead. Problem solved, post over, back to Facebook and some serious literature.
Not so fast, Mr. Motor-mouse! We never answered the original question. How do you know when to jump? For you see, leaving a career in which you know how to make money and can even make money when you've been laid off in this economy is not a hop off the curb. It's a leap of faith of biblical proportions. You mistime this jump and you don't break a leg, you splatter like a watermelon dropped from the Empire State Building. And mama melon has to pay the mortgage on the melon farm and raise the two little melonheads all on her own. When i think about actually stopping carpentry and working full time on a book, Don, the plane and the parachute all disappear and i'm standing on the rim of a skinny concrete detail, with rounded edges, no handholds, the wind tearing at my clothes and carrying the sound of laughter and the really solid looking, unforgiving city street faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar below. i got two choices, climb back in through the open window and the shuffle back to the suffocating safety of my cubicle....
Quit yer pushin', i'm thinkin' here!