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Don't Be a Chickenwuss

I am on vacation and trying to take my mind off my impending leap. I know I want to make this move, I know I will, I just do not know how to do it. How (or maybe, why) does one deliberately throw chaos in to the middle of what is otherwise a perfectly tranquil life? (Parenthood notwithstanding.)

I am having increased episodes where my mind spirals into a panic over how I will pay for this (I have been more focused on paying debts than saving money), or what if I fall flat on my face and remain stuck in this rut forever? What if I never find a life more fulfilling? In a matter of seconds my brain spins scenarios from being stuck where I am to being homeless and panhandling. This happens faster than I can breathe, almost as if my lungs shut down because fear and air cannot enter the body simultaneously.

This paralysis reminds me of the times in high school when my fiends and I would go cliff jumping in Hamburg Cove, a small inlet off the Connecticut River with rock faces about 35 feet high. At high tide you can jump into water about 10 to 15 feet deep. The first time I went I was scared stiff. My friends jumped repeatedly while I stood there contemplating the jump. I wanted to do it. I wanted the sense of excitement they had. I just was not sure I wanted to jump off a cliff to have it.

I finally jumped because I was taunted by some 11-year old punk. He and his buddies came along and began flinging themselves off the edge as if they were going to fall a mere ten feet. They continually scaled the rock face and simply jumped again. One of them noticed my hesitation (and the mockery of my friends) and called me a chickenwuss just as he jumped for the fifth or sixth time. Somehow that did it. I knew that if I did not follow this kid and beat his ass (which I was not really going to do) I would never make the leap and regret it forever. I still remember being hyper-aware of my toes being the last part of me touching terra firma as I launched. The descent was over in three seconds. I felt alive!

So I am trying to avoid thinking about this pending move that paralyzes me now. I want the exhilaration of having made the leap without actually doing it. Sadly it does not work that way. I am trying to take my mind off of it with a magazine (GQ) and smack dab in the middle of it is a piece on five or six people who woke up one day to realize they hated their jobs and their trajectory in life. They wanted out much like I do right now. They did not know what they wanted to do; they just wanted out before the rot set in to an irreversible point. They all found, and continue to find, their way and would not trade anything to go back.

Either this is a funny coincidence or the greater powers are gently calling me a chickenwuss.



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