Taking the Plunge
The Leap of Faith
A few months ago I did the R.O.C race with a couple of friends, which is an inflatable obstacle course spread over 5 kilometres. One of the obstacles was called the Leap of Faith. You have to climb to the top of an inflatable cliff and jump off the summit to experience its chilling 3+ metre drop onto a giant red bullseye (as it’s described on the R.O.C website). This was one of the only obstacles that had a long queue, but it was exciting watching everyone have their turn so I didn’t mind the wait.
One girl ahead of me climbed the stairs, stood at the top of the ‘cliff’, looked over the edge and didn’t move. As it was clear she was having doubts about jumping, the people behind started to encourage her. There was clapping and calls of, ‘You can do it!’ and ‘Jump!’, by the growing crowd. After a few minutes of strangers willing her to take the leap, she made a move.
But instead of jumping she turned around and climbed back down the stairs. She couldn’t do it. Clearly she’d wanted to because she climbed the stairs to the top. But when the moment came to take the leap her fear stopped her.
Standing on the Edge
As soon as I came up with the idea of doing 40 jobs when I’m 40, I was excited about it. Yes, it’s a pretty crazy way to find out what I’d like to do for the rest of my working life, but it made so much sense to me. I eased in by talking about my idea with friends over the first couple of weeks to see what they thought, then asked people if they’d get on board with me and have me work with them, and once I had a few yeses it was time to get moving and set up a website, something I’d never done before. After a lot of reading and research my husband Tim and I sorted out a web host, got a domain name, installed WordPress, bought a theme, and started tweaking the page to make it look how I wanted. A few weekends ago I threw on a dress, slapped on some make-up and headed to a beautiful local reserve where Tim took some photos of me for my page. I have to admit I felt a bit ridiculous! But at least we got a couple of shots we could use (and some that will never see the light of day again!)
Throughout the last couple of months my excitement and nerves have increased as I’ve approached this moment. I feel a bit like the girl at the top of the inflatable cliff, having doubts about whether I can do it. I have no fear at all about working in 40 jobs. As a supply teacher I’m used to starting a new job in a new place with new people. My worries lie more in writing this blog and putting myself out there. What if I can’t write well? What if I embarrass myself? It’s all very new to me and I have to step way out of my comfort zone to do it.
Taking the Plunge
But I’m determined, and I keep telling myself to BE BRAVE. Just like the girl at the ROC race, I have a bunch of people behind me offering encouragement. I don’t want fear to force me to turn back. I’m taking a deep breath at the top of my cliff, and I’m going to take the plunge!