Monday, March 19, 2012

If You Want to Take the Island, Burn the Frickin' Boats

I heard this on the Tony Robbins episode of Oprah's Next Chapter, and it has been playing on a loop in my head ever since.  So much of my life this last year has felt out of my control.  I'm just existing, going through the motions, trying my best to find a path in the brush.  I know, or at least have an idea of what I want, but getting there hasn't felt up to me.  Despite hard work and good intentions, this last year insists on keeping the paths out covered. 

So far, I've hoped for the best and tried really hard to do what it takes to move forward, but I haven't taken any significant risks.  I wrote recently about how excited I am that our lease is up in June and that we have to give our notice this month.  I am excited, but I'm also sort of panicked.  There's a firm deadline blinking in my brain, like the flash of 12:00 on your digital alarm clock.  JUNE.  JUNE.  JUNE.  JUNE. 

In June, our lease is up.  We need to be ready to move by June.  I need to have a permanent job by June.  Then I began to rationalize.  Don't be silly.  Just talk to the property manager.  I'm sure you can work something out.  Go month to month or something.  And I'm sure my law school will let me keep working on a temporary basis.  They've already let me extend my contract once and I know they'll still have a need for me and the work I've been doing.  Safety nets.  Sure, ultimately I want to find a job and move to New York in June, but there are safety nets if that doesn't happen. 

Except....if you want to take the island, burn the frickin' boats.  If I know the safety nets are there...

And so I gave our notice to vacate in June with no conditions attached.  I stared at the paper I had to sign for several minutes and fought down the rising panic, the need for a safety net.  I signed my name and waited for the lump in my throat to subside. 

I'm likening it to working out, eating right, losing weight, but holding on to your fat pants.  Why?  You've vowed you'd never need them again, so why keep them?  Burn the boats.  There's no going back. 

There's no choice but to take the island.


Kelsey said...

Wow, really inspirational post! I love it. And I love your attitude. I agree, it's so easy to rely on safety nets. The Reserves is that for me. I hate my job in the Navy, I'm leaving it in search of something that will make me happy, so why spend any more time doing something I hate that no longer works for me? I have a boat to burn, too. You're very smart, you work hard and are motivated; you will make it happen. So will I. It's scary to go forward without a plan, I know, but it's the only way to find something new and better. Can't wait to hear what you find :-)