Thursday, April 10, 2014

I grew up with a "teacher" mother as evidenced by the snake skin in a jar kept around the house for years.  A little something along with many other little somethings that I willingly forgot over the past two decades.  Until this morning.  Leaving jobs in our 20's can feel like shedding that layer of skin.  They say snakes shed to allow room for more growth, and to remove parasites.  Both seem oddly consistent with my past experience. (Yes, I guess I just called myself a snake.)

My mom would refer to the snake by name.  In fact, she would refer to his skin in the jar by name. He had shed many memories in our garden over the years. At least, this is how I remember it.  You have to keep in mind I was five when we moved away and left that good friend behind.  I didn't see the jar again either. So perhaps I remember it all wrong.

But this morning, he came to mind. We grow like mad in our 20s, leaving skins in offices, apartments and sometimes relationships. The air around us getting too tight, squeezing us until the time we can crawl out of it.  And it's bitter sweet, leaving a shell of ourselves in each place.  Saying goodbye to a part of who we are, who we've been and accepting the cold air on our new unknown skin.  It is vulnerable just as it is exciting.

I'm feeling squeezed and there will definitely be some fresh skin soon, but right now I'm trying to figure out what to shed.  And how to shed it.  Leaving an environment, closing a door becomes the obvious and easy solution for change and growth for our generation.  We don't like it? We leave it.  But what about when we could change it?  And is everything worth changing? Or are we wasting our youth and energy?

Someone taught me back in college about the truth of trajectory.  It's not about where you are, it's about where you're headed.  Once you grasp that, you realize that every small decision you make in your youth can drastically change where you wake up in your 40s.  Little decisions can be big.  And big decisions can determine a lot more than your salary.

But the whole trajectory truth would be a lot easier if you knew exactly where you wanted to wake up at the end.  You could just work backwards from there.  Some do.  I don't.

Thank God for counsel and wisdom but now, I need increased vision. And vision has to be your own, no one can give you your vision. I have to decide to step one way or the other. And while Mr. Frost would have you believe it's the one path least traveled that bears the reward, he missed the fact that no one else has the two unique paths to choose from that you do. They are both untraveled as of yet.  You choose. It's not least or most, it's left or right.

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