There is a software developer in town who has become somewhat of a mentor to me over the past year and a half. He encouraged me to step outside my then-current worldview, and was one of the first to encourage me to start my own business. I had been hiding behind finishing school as a start date for doing anything, but he pushed me to believe that I didn’t have to wait for some magical event; he even brought me onto a team project as a designer – my first real client work. As work ebbed and flowed, we went our own ways, and it had been a while since the last time we had spoken. This past spring we ran into a small error on the site we had worked on together, and it gave us a chance to catch up. I was getting him up to speed on everything that had been going on in my life, and he said the following:
When you make big changes in your life, it’s like throwing rocks into a pond. You never know how big the ripples will be, or how far they will spread.
It turns out that I have thrown quite a few rocks into what had once been a fairly still pond. The first big rock was starting my own business, stepping out of the traditional career track and starting on the path to creating a lifestyle that more closely reflected what I want to do with my life. Those ripples unsettled what could be considered a fairly “normal” existence: husband, house, two dogs, one car, steady careers, life planned out.
Fast forward a year, and it’s now one dog and me. I’m still riding my ripples, and still throwing rocks in the pond.
In the past year, I have learned more about myself than I would have thought possible. I have come to the realization that content just doesn’t cut it for me; I don’t want to be able to see every day of the rest of my life laid out in front of me, orderly and safe. Don’t get me wrong – sometimes I look back to that life and think how easy it was, how secure and dependable. I allow myself those moments, and then I come back to the present, the now. All it takes is the thought of all the possibilities this life holds, and I’m back in the game. I have thrown the weight of my being behind my passion for environmental change, and come to realize that I want to continue in that vein for the foreseeable future. What comes after that? Who knows.
As I continue on this path I’m carving, I will be finding myself and my balance, trying to make a difference in this world while still enjoying my days in it. And, I’ll most likely keep throwing rocks in the pond.
Who needs still water, anyway?
Have you thrown any metaphorical rocks into the pond of your life? To what effect? I would love to hear your experiences in the comments!