As we prepare for the big lifestyle change, sailing on a boat for years, the fear of leaving the old comfortable life creeps back in. When surveying my life, I've had a few different "lifes": compulsory schooling, military, college, and professional. With the exception of the compulsory schooling phase, each time I left a phase, I wondered if I was doing the right thing ... leaving something I was extremely good at.
In the military, I went from the lowest possible rank to Sergeant in less than 3 years, and I was awarded multiple ARCOMs in that time. My military future was very bright and people continuously told me I was a lifer. The military was the sure road. When re-enlistment time came around, the gentle nudge of my beautiful wife helped me understand that it was time to try something new.
In college, I was a star student. I graduated with a 4.0 in my major (Physics), was tapped into Phi Kappa Phi (a collegiate national honor society), and pulled in 2 minors (Mathematics and Computer Science). I followed this up with a curve busting graduate student stint obtaining my Master's degree in Computer Science. The follow on Ph.D. and a life in academia was the sure road. The gentle nudge of my beautiful wife helped me understand that it was time to try something new.
In my current phase, professional, I'm doing just fine. I'm a Vice President at a 20 Billion USD company (and it isn't a bank!). My road to a CIO position in 5-10 years is looking sound. I love my current job, and I love the people I work with. What I do doesn't feel like work. The road forward is a sure one. The gentle nudge of my beautiful wife has helped me to understand that it is time to try something new. Not today, but within another few years we need to be in a new phase.
With each phase shift, there is a fear of leaving the known, the comfortable, the sure. Yet, each new phase we try, we seem to do just fine and we grow in new, unexpected ways. In the past, it was just my wife and I. Now, we have kids to consider. It will be all 4 of use making the phase change.
The next phase is the World Explorer phase. The phase of living on a boat, making our way around the world, sampling different cultures at each port. The phase of learning how to live more grounded to the world.
Does this fear paralyze? In many it does, but not us. Part of the excitement we get is from that fear. It is the challenge of learning how to stabilize life in a new environment. It is all about the nuances a life style offers. It is about tacking on experiences that we would not otherwise have.
Was any one phase better than another? The compulsory education phase was atrocious, but the others were special and valuable in their own way. No one phase could be rated better than another. Where one lacked, money for example, it make up for in experiences, like throwing grenades, firing an M-60 machine gun, and working at the National Security Agency.
Many people live 1 or 2 "life"s. Some get 3. We are greedy, we want to life many "lifes"! Not 1 or 2. Is there fear with this next life change? Absolutely! Will it deter us? Not on your life!
Now it is time to get back to learning how to tie knots.