If you live where I do, autumn is the time of falling leaves. But last year I found out the leaves don’t actually fall. They’re pushed! Check out http://tinyurl.com/yfdnva7 for the full story.
This got me to thinking about falling vs. pushing vs. jumping. How many times, when I ask someone how they got into their line of work, do they say, “Oh, I fell into it.” When I hear this, the person doesn’t sound too thrilled. They sound quite blase about it, in fact. As I see it, “falling” indicates something that happened to them, not something they chose themselves.
Pushing is also something that happens to you. You might get pushed into doing something…or “dragged into” as the case might be. I’m reminded of the numerous college students I’ve worked with who were pushed into fields they had no interest in – usually by someone older and “wiser” saying, “You’ll make good money doing that,” or, “You’ll have job security if you do that,” as if money and job security were what life was all about. As if money and job security are guarantees. The current economy proves otherwise.
Then, there’s jumping. Jumping can’t happen to you. It’s something you have to do for yourself. There might be folks on the sidelines cheering you on, or discouraging you from doing it. Those cheering have done it before and know what it’s like on the other side, or they haven’t done it but believe in you. Those discouraging you usually haven’t tried it, so they’re not the best ones to take advice from. It’s can be scary contemplating a jump but it can also be exhilarating. If it works, it’s an amazing high. If it doesn’t, experienced jumpers just pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and keep going.
Which reminds me of the quote next to the register at my local coffee shop (which I’ve seen attributed to all sorts of people):
Life is not a journey to the grave
With the intention of
Arriving safely in a pretty
And well preserved body,
But rather to skid in broadside,
Thoroughly used up,
Totally worn out,
And loudly proclaiming,
WOW !!!! What a ride!