The other night I was in the kitchen with my dad over fresh, warm pasta and a glass of red wine, discussing a recent interview I had for a new job. My dad, like many, is rather opinionated but does not consider himself so. His delivery of thought is more like that of a PE coach through a megaphone, yelling at uncoordinated 5th graders playing dodgeball and less like the supportive librarian whispers he claims. We were discussing the position and I could see his mind wavering, trying to find footing on either side of his thoughts; trying to decide if it was a job worth pursuing.
To put everything into perspective, I am currently employed. I work for a smaller firm in an innovative, up and coming industry. I have been working here for two years. I hate my job. I live in the sunny state of Florida, however, being a Northerner at heart, my habitation seems disloyal and wrong. I went to college here and ended up staying after graduation. I met a boy, got a job and you know how it goes. Years later I am recently single (that is a whole other story within itself) and living with my dad which for all intents and purposes is fine. It provides me with a dinner companion besides my dog but subjects me to his array of opinions about how I should be living my life (making me second guess having just my dog as a dinner date). The job I am pursing is at another small firm but more in line with what I am passionate about. Oh, did I also mention it is in Chicago where I know little to no one and little to nothing about? You might think that move would be crazy but before you make a decision, did I also mention, my ex lives across the street? It’s great if you want the occasional ex with benefits or, even better, to see them taking other girls out on dates (my sanity has been questioned). I am ready to get out of here. No, let me rephrase that, I need to get out of here.
After a brief moment of silence he says, “Just don’t go from the frying pan into the fire. I know you are not happy with your job now, but don’t jump into a situation that could be worse just because.” The first thing that I think is, “How could this situation be worse? I mean of course I have some things going for me like, let’s just say my health and the fact that I get a semi-decent pay check every other week, but that’s about it. I then realized how much I am in the frying pan. I am settling, sizzling, sticking. If I continue at this rate I am going to be charred and undesirable because I am neither happy nor content. I am frustrated and stuck and spraying a little Pam on the pot won’t fix it. What is so bad about plunging into the unknown? About taking an adventure? About indulging in a risk that scares the hell out of you but excites and illuminates you at the same time? What is wrong with going into the fire?
I know very well the common saying, to be careful when playing with fire, but, that’s just it, I do not want to play with fire, I want to jump right into it. I want to face my fears with courage and strength. I want to watch myself evolve rather than allow myself to be engulfed by flames. I want my soul and my thoughts to be ignited and, most of all, I want to feel again. In the frying pan, I am gradually becoming more and more burnt, numb to my feelings and surroundings. I do not want to settle anymore. I am not a piece of bacon sizzling in a pot. I am a chef, taking hold of the pot handle and watching the flames fly. I am taking a hold on my life and embracing my fears and insecurities; for it is so much more rewarding to take the risk and feel than be sedentary within your gilded cage, too afraid to fly. I am at the point in my life where I am no longer waiting for someone to open up the cage’s gate to let me free, rather I have realized that the gate has been open the entire time and it is my time to spread my wings and fly through the fire.