BrainTeaser | Sherma E Benosa

Life is a puzzle; we are the clues, and God is the answer.

Reversible Suicide

 

“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]

 

 

 

Postscript

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.

 

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5 comments on “Reversible Suicide

  1. lovewillbringustogether
    April 5, 2008

    Hi Brainy – you seem to be well? 🙂

    I like the musings in this post – i hope it will give some the courage to ‘take a leap’ – every once in a while, if not making a ‘habit’ out of it 😉

    Many times we let fear rule our decision making. While it is wise to sometimes be cautious – with concern for others our decisions affect – as well as our own self-preservation (preserving always the good – never the bad) – it is not the true way our lives should be directed – never life a life through fear.

    You show that there is another way – to leap out of our fear and into the ‘unknown’ with Faith that ‘someone’ is looking out for us as we do so.

    You also ( more maturely perhaps? 😉 ) show that we don’t always have to ‘leap’ but can take smaller steps to improveour lives – if we are unhapy with what we have.

    If i might add a word of my own experience (I have jumped a few times now) Sometimes – when we are ‘bored’ or unhappy with a particular situation ( like a Job) it is a sign that we are becoming ‘adept’ at it and are finding no new ‘challenges’ to excite us. If we can work through that part we can then find much reward in doing something very well indeed – evenif there are few ‘surprises’ left for us.

    The sad thing is – sometimes it requires us to leap away from that in order to be able to see it clearly – and usually then it is too late to ‘go back’

    We live and we learn – hopefully 🙂

    Happiness comes from Truly following our spirit – weresoever it may lead us!

    May you soon find what it is that is ‘calling’ you – if you have not already done so 🙂

    love <B

  2. VF
    April 5, 2008

    Ei Buddy, do I see stones or boulders in the picture? hehehe!

    …saw some broken ones too!

    Same comment I’ve been telling you a thousand times: “Jump-no-more”!

    Huuuu!

  3. brainteaser
    April 6, 2008

    Howdy, lovewillbringustogether! Yes, I’ve been doing fine, thank you. Been too busy, but that’s alright. I’m thankful there are things I can be busy about.

    Hey, thank you so much for this insightful sharing, especially that part you added about us becoming more adept the moment we find something boring. And yes, I hope I’m maturing too! Haha.

    Thanks! Appreciate it so much.

    🙂

    How are yah, VF Buddy? They are stones, come on! 🙂 I couldn’t find a good pic in my file to complement the post, so I re-used that pic. Lovely, isn’t it? [Stop complaining! Hahaha]

    “Jump no more.” Care to expound that, sweetie?

    Why don’t you “jump with me”? eh?

  4. RainforestRobin
    April 7, 2008

    Dear Sherma, my word you are a beautiful soul. And no matter whether you have found what you want to “DO” with your life, you HAVE found the key to living. The rest will come. Soooo many people – IF they jump at all – when there is no net or they “thud” to the gorund or they STILL don’t know what they want to do…they give up and go back to the last thing/job/partner/whatever that they had and stay there, even though they hated it. You are brave, courageous and inspiring. You are a breath of fresh air. I commend you on looking after your soul making sure that it remains alive…even if you haven’t yet found what you are seeking. At least you are NOT staying with what you KNOW you don’t like. Hence you are leaving yourself open to new opportuities…open to LIFE. You are not seeking safetly in some job that you hate and where the magic of life might not find you as easily. I so relate to this post: in my lifetime I have been a dental assistant, a self trained potter, a self trained glass craftswoman, a singer, a pianist, a writer and now adding photography to the list. I too am a rolling stone. And although there have been times that I was scared or alone in my “jumps” I have NO regrets. I am fully alive, as are YOU. You are amazing! Trust your beautiful heart; it KNOWS what is right for you and it will never let you down.

    You writing is beautiful, heartfelt and refreshing. I will come back and visit you and read your writing. I am honored to meet you and bless you for contacting me. : )

  5. brainteaser
    April 8, 2008

    Hello, Rainforestrobin!

    Thank you so much for coming over to my place, my friend. And for sharing your insight.

    I have been to your blog, and I am so glad that I did! Yours speaks of a free soul, one who knows what it wants and is unafraid of following the heart’s dictate.

    I so wich I could leave a comment there. 🙂

    It is so nice to know that you cannot only do so many things, you are actually doing all these things. I’m so amazed! You DO KNOW how to live, and not merely exist!

    As to my writing, I’ll take your comment as a great compliment, coming from an accomplished writer!

    Thank you, thank you friend. Yes, please come here often. 🙂

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