More often, in my life, it has not been others, but some nagging voice inside my head that has sent out the warning call, kept me wading ankle-deep, even while yet some other voice – excited and hopeful – has screamed, "Jump on in"!
People see a great deal of competence, creativity, originality in me. A friend who hasn't known me too long recently said she doesn't know why I'm not more of a go-getter. "Why aren't you more ambitious? You can do so many things!" she said.True, I have never been able to put my ambition up against others'. I have never really made a connection with the word. But, oh, I have heeded that other voice: "Jump in!" My big splashes have not put me on a super-career track, nor fattened my bank account, nor earned me Alumnus of the Year.
Yet, I have had more careers than many people, putting curiosity ahead of security...jump! I have stayed when others left, left when others stayed, fought when others fled, stood in the spotlight when others sat in the stands, spoke out loud when others whispered. Every time that voice told me to fall in love, jump on in, I did. And I'm glad about it.
Before jumping in, you have to know that others won't weigh your success as you do. You will be splashing around in the water celebrating the mere fact that you made it that far. You will feel refreshed, renewed, reborn. They will be measuring the distance.
I want my 15-year-old students to have the courage, curiosity, conviction to jump in, even if the odds don't favor getting rich or famous. Jump in! Make your life!