Thursday, January 23, 2014

Question of the Month: the Leap of Faith Edition

January is the month of fresh beginnings, but some of them can be a little intimidating. This month, please tell us about a time you took a leap of faith that worked. 

Laura Drake: Mine would have to be in 1980, when my little sister and I had decided that Detroit was dead, and we left home with everything we owned packed into our two Pintos and moved to California, sight unseen. Looking back, I can't believe we had the guts to do it, but it sure worked out well!
Geri Krotow:  After graduating from the Naval Academy, earning a Master's Degree, and nine years of a successful naval career, I decided to resign my commission to raise my son, have another baby, and pursue my dream of writing. I'm blessed I had a husband (who went on to serve 27 years active duty) who was supportive of my dreams. I'd say they've come true! Certainly not on my timeline, or always how I pictured them to, but often much, much better and joyous.
Claire McEwen: I've taken a lot of leaps but my scariest one, with the happiest ending, was when I left my career to stay home with my son.  I had my dream job, working with all the schools in my district on reading and writing instruction, and I'd worked so hard for years to get there.  Plus, we owned a house that we couldn't pay for unless we had two incomes.  But I could tell that my son wasn't doing well in daycare.  And I wasn't doing well either!  My job took so much time that I rarely saw my baby.  I was getting really depressed about it, so I finally got up my nerve, quit my job, and we sold our house and moved to a rental.  

It turned out to be one of the best decisions I've ever made!  I soon learned that my son wasn't doing well in daycare because he had a few developmental delays that needed to be addressed.  It took a lot of appointments with specialists, and exercises that I would never have had time to do with him if I'd still been working. Because I quit and had time to give him the help he needed, two years later he was at all his age-appropriate developmental milestones.  He caught up!  And he is such a happy little boy now as a result.

And the other benefits of taking that leap of faith?  We moved to a beautiful town by the ocean and bought a house near the beach.  And I had time to write!  So I finally got the chance to fulfill my dream of becoming a writer.  I was so scared to quit my job, to take that leap, but it truly changed my son's life, and mine as well.

Cathryn Parry: Every time I sit down to write a story, I feel like I'm taking a leap of faith.

(When a story gets sent out to the world, it's another leap--different, but still scary!)

Vicki Essex:  The biggest personal leap I ever took was asking a certain charming, charismatic, intelligent and too-cute coworker of mine out to a movie. Fourteen years later, my husband still tells me I made my own luck by asking him out. 8 )

Anna Sugden:  LOL I seem to have spent most of my life taking leaps of faith – with career decisions and in my personal life. The interesting thing is that they all worked, though perhaps not as I expected them too. Whether it was changing a career path from business to primary school teaching or having the courage to admit my feelings for my best friend (who is now my wonderful husband!) or submitting my first manuscript, taking that first leap has always been scary. But the results have been worth it every time!

Jennifer Lohmann: When I graduated from college with a degree in economics, everyone expected me to follow all the other econ. majors to the investment banks or consulting firms, which I thought sounded completely soul-sucking. So, I applied to teach English in Shanghai, packed all my stuff to store at my parents' houses (where much of it still resides, to their dismay), and left the U.S. When I arrived to meet a friend of mine in Hong Kong for a trip up to Shanghai, I spoke no Chinese and only brought a backpacking bag and small duffel with me. My friend traveled with me to Shanghai, helped me buy supplies for my new apartment, and left for the rest of her research trip. That year was one of the best years of my life and an experience I will never forget.
Tara Taylor Quinn:  I feel like my whole life is a leap of faith, or one leap after another.  There are moments that stand out as testimony to me that I can trust my heart and continue to leap.  One of those came ten months ago.  My cousin and his wife were visiting us in Arizona.  They wanted to climb the Superstition Mountains.  I’m an in-line skater.  Not a climber.  But I figured I could put one step in front of the other.  And then I found myself on side of a mountain that was as smooth as ice and almost completely horizontal.  I hadn’t yet reached my goal – the top of the peak I was on.  I hugged that mountain, scared to death.  I had no idea how I was going to get down.  The side of the mountain was warm.  Something told me I could trust it.  So I quit analyzing, followed my heart and climbed to the top.  As I stood up there, looking out over my world – the Phoenix valley – I knew I’d just been told that I could face the challenges weighing my heart.  I just had to trust and follow my heart.  And slide down the mountain on my backside!
Joan Kilby:  My big leaps of faith usually involve travel. When I was twenty-four I set sail on a six month voyage from Vancouver to Hawaii, Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands and back again on the sailboat my dad built in our backyard. He was a dentist who grew up in the prairies but he learned celestial navigation and how to sail in his forties, not to mention how to work with fiberglass and how to wire, plumb and rig a boat. I guess he took a bigger leap of faith than anyone which was a real inspiration to me. After that trip, nothing much has ever fazed me.
Pamela Hearon: My greatest leap of faith would have to be when I got married the second time.  The first time around, I'd married my high school sweetheart whom I'd known my entire life.  He turned out to be a much different man than the boy I thought I knew so well.  We divorced after ten years and one child.
A year later, I met a great guy also divorced with two children.  He was the most genuine person I've ever known, but a nagging distrust of happily-ever-after kept me doubting if love could actually last forever.  We dated for two years, and when he finally asked me to marry him, I said yes.  During the wedding vows, fear gripped my throat.  What if ...?  I took a giant leap of faith that he was everything I thought he was.  This time, I wasn't wrong.  We've had 28 glorious years together--and I'm looking forward to 50 more! 

And now, dear readers, tell us - when did YOU take a leap of faith that worked?


Mary Preston said...

Growing up I never knew what I wanted to be or do. After High School I actually found myself, through a convoluted process, studying to be a nurse. I discovered that not only was I good at it, but enjoyed it too.

Kristina Mathews said...

Let's see, telling my husband I wanted to be a writer. Going to my first RWA meeting. Attending a writer's retreat where I'd met the host twice and knew only one other person there.

Oh, and going to that dance my first semester of college even though my roommate bailed. I didn't meet my husband that night, instead I ran into a guy I went to high school with who ended up being in the same fraternity my husband joined a year later.

kris said...

Mary, what a fortuitous discovery!

Kristina, I love it. Isn't it amazing to look back at how choices that seemed so minor at the time turn out to have such amazing implications?

Geri Krotow said...

Kristina, I forgot about going to that first RWA National back in 2000--a BIG leap! Mary, sometimes the leaps are the totality of baby steps. :) Kris, thanks for writing this blog.

joye said...

At my work, I decided I wanted to effect some changes so I applied for department chair and I won. I was department chair for 12 years. I did make some changes that worked for our company.

kris said...

Joye, good for YOU!

Geri, that first conference - oh yeah.

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