Life is a puzzle; we are the clues, and God is the answer.
“Why would I jump when I can glide smoothly? Why should I take a plunge when I can dip one foot at a time?”
“Rolling stone” is what my father calls me. Since I graduated from the university six years ago, I’ve changed employment several times that he had to keep reminding me: “rolling stones catch no moss” to which I always answered: “at least they have greater chances of landing exactly where they want to be.”
With that reasoning in mind, coupled with determination and a clear sense of where I wanted to go, I walked toward the edge of the cliff that was my secure but boring job, not daring to look below (lest I’d lose the courage to jump), and leaped, hoping that there’d be an invisible net to catch me, or that the ground wouldn’t be too hard.
There was no net, I soon found out; and I hit the ground with a loud thud. But quickly I stood up and, walking limply, made my way up to the other cliff; with the mind to climb it.
Only to jump off a second time. And a third. And a fourth. And… who knows?
THE URGE TO JUMP started out as a seemingly innocent question — “Where would I be had I done differently?” — that slowly grew into a nagging voice until it became too loud for me to simply ignore. Then I started asking more and more pressing questions: Should I move forward or should I make a turnaround? Should I cling to the safety of my present job or should I leap on to the next?
Shifting careers is not an easy decision to make because it often means going back to square one and giving up the perks one already enjoys. It is also beset with many “what-ifs.” In fact, a lot of people regard it as a “suicide attempt.”
Knowing that, I still couldn’t let myself be stuck in a situation I couldn’t live with. I didn’t think I could ever forgive myself if in the future I’d realize I could have made a difference, but didn’t; because I let my demons scare me off.
So I did some serious thinking, carefully evaluating my prospects and making sure I wouldn’t be affecting too many people in case I’d fail. I planned ahead and saved up; and made sure I’d have a fallback, just in case.
And then I jumped.
The first time I did it, I wasn’t too successful. But neither was my attempt a complete failure. Because I learned from the experience. It sure hurt me, but it hadn’t destroyed my spirit.
And the jump… the jump was, in itself, great. The adrenaline rush. The thrill. The knowledge that I was defying the odds and that I was doing something less courageous people would never dream of doing. Everything was just great.
AM I THERE yet? Heck, I don’t know. I’ve already jumped several times. Each experience was different from the previous. And success rate varied. But I keep learning; I’m becoming better and better.
And yes, changing careers does not assure of dreams fulfilled; that much is true. But it settles the many what-ifs in life. And no, hopping from one job to another is not at all being like a rolling stone. Rolling stones move not because they want to, but because of a stronger external force. They don’t have control of where they are going. We do. We choose how we move or whether we move at all. We decide when. If rolling stones have good chances of getting to where they want to be, how much more chances do we, humans, have?
And if, indeed, steering one’s career to a different direction is like committing suicide, then it is the kind of suicide where one can always turn back and undo everything. It is the kind of suicide I’d be willing to commit again and again, if only to get to a loftier plane.
[Sherma E. Benosa; April 2005]
Diary entry, February 2006
Here I am again, trying to decide what to do with my life. I had thought that when I’m already in the “right job,” I’d be very happy and would not want to jump again. I have to say I’m happy with the way things turned out. But what I didn’t count on was that, once you’ve achieved what you’ve set out to achieve, you’d want something else. And in wanting something else, you’d be faced with another dilemma: Would you leave what you’ve worked hard for to try another thing?
But then, maybe this time, there’s no longer any need for me to jump. After all, jumping isn’t the only course I can take. In fact, there are times that it doesn’t make any sense to jump. I mean, why would I jump when I can glide smoothly? Why should I take a plunge when I can dip one foot at a time? Test the waters is what they call it. That sounds like a good advice to me.