Falling without a safety net

I’ve been watching the ABC Family show “Greek” lately. The student worker in my office suggested that I get into it and while I’ve had so much free time over the holiday break I decided to get into it–the entire series was conveniently on NetFlix instant stream.  In one of the episodes the main character had to make a decision between her boyfriend and a career opportunity.  Her “voice of reason” turns to her and says, “Playing it safe is what you do when you’re afraid. And really there’s very few things you should ever be afraid of.” It got me thinking…

I believe I am here, in school, because it is safe.  It is very well known that I do not like to do things that I am not good at.  Hence why I don’t play organized sports (another story for another day).  So I got to thinking how it applied to where I am right now.  I just got my grades and I got As in my classes.  As on all my assignments, etc etc.  It’s not even exciting to me because I know it wasn’t the result of some grand effort.  A recent alum told me when I first arrived in San Diego that the Ph.D is not the degree award to the smartest or highly intelligent, it is a battle of the wills. It is sheer determination to finish and complete something.  Its about follow through.  I am not a quitter, and I am truly enjoying my time here so I am not talking about quitting, what I’m talking about is the patterns that govern my decision making.

Perfection is not just about control. It’s also about letting go. Surprise yourself so you can surprise the audience. Transcendence! Very few have it in them … The only person standing in your way is you. It’s time to let her go. Lose yourself.

I’m smart. Above average smart; I think it boils down to being able to draw parallels and see connections between things.  It comes in handy as academics love to discuss the abstract.  I guess I got comfortable.  I know that I can excel there. I know that I am competitive there.  I never have to worry about finding my footing in the world of higher education.  Its a bit scarier in the so-called real world.  Today an old friend asked me what I wanted to do after graduation and rather than regurgitating the same old response I give everyone about being director of counseling services I tried to actually think.  I mean what about the work in spirituality? Will I give it up?  Will it be just for me?  What about consulting? What about my books, and teaching, and running retreats?  How does it all fit?  The fact of the matter is that it will.

I guess even though I might have chosen the safe path nothing along this path is guaranteed.  It’s just beginning and while some parts of school may be easier for me not all of them will.  I’m not arrogant enough to believe that it will be a cake walk.  Even with my Masters, though the classes may have been manageable, the personal work was a different story. I believe that in four years the time will come again for me to make a major life decision and I will have to chose between the safe and the flight.  Hell…tomorrow I’ll have to face that choice, just on a smaller scale. But you know, I’m ready for it.  I’m feeling courageous and I’m feeling like I can do it.

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