What Would You Do If You Knew You Couldn’t Fail?

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Would you make a change? Does fear hold you back? Years ago when I first moved to Texas, I got laid off. It was during the whole dotcom bust and I knew it was coming. I definitely saw all the signs and was well prepared to ride the sofa for a while until I found another job. The only problem is that I’m a planner.

pondering-blue-skiesI like to know when things will happen, how long, and all kinds of minute details. I don’t like uncertainty. I hated not knowing how long I was going to be out of work. How can you plan for something when you don’t know how long it’s going to be?! The timeframe didn’t really matter because I had enough savings to keep me from being homeless or even close, but I couldn’t allow myself to have fun since I didn’t know when I’d have an income again.

I had all the time in the world to take weekend trips or take some fun classes or just breathe… but I couldn’t. What if I spent $500 on a weekend trip and ended up not having enough money before finding a job? It seems so ridiculous now. Of course everything worked out, but looking back I wish I’d just been able to relax and enjoy having no 9 to 5 obligations. (I can only imagine what the unknown of retirement is going to be for me. Gah!)

The year was the perfect time to do all the things that I now long for, but I was too tied up with worry. I could have had an entire year of fun and frolic. I did do quite a bit of work on the house but I scrimped and saved in every way imaginable instead of just being in the moment. Last week was pure freedom to me while on Spring Break. I didn’t check email, didn’t call work, didn’t even think about work. I felt the sunshine on me. I breathed fresh air. I lived in the moment with The Kid.

It was so hard to go back to work today where I’m trapped at my desk for 8 hours with not even a peep of the outside. I don’t even have windows in my area and my co-workers keep the lights turned low so it’s pretty dark. I don’t mind my job but it’s just a job and nothing more. Many days I long for that year that I didn’t take full advantage of. I wouldn’t call it regret because it got me to where I am today, but I’d definitely do it different next time.

I decided that I’m going to take a couple breaks each day to walk to a window at the very least and dream while looking outside. It will be good to get up and move around for a change. The view is pretty too with lots of blue sky most days. If the weather is nice, I might even take a few minutes and actually step outside. Maybe the meaning of life will come to me suddenly. Maybe I’ll get a different perspective on things.

Maybe I’ll suddenly figure out how to do what I really want to do. How do you know what you want to be when you grow up? How do you convince yourself to take that leap of faith?

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