Sitting in the airport, I look to my left and see a man reading his James Patterson novel. To my right, an outlet station where travelers can plug in their unreliable, new gadgets they received on Christmas morning. There are girls across for me, sisters I think, who look like they are about to take off for a family vacation.
I feel alone, just my laptop, my books, my identification, and me. I smell a mixture of airport stench and my perfume, which I sprayed heavily on myself before departing for the morning. I think, “Holy crap. I am actually doing this. What am I thinking?”
You see I have never been one for risks. I have always measured my life in coffee spoons, not too unlike J. Alfred Prufrock. I calculate my moves. I make sure that everything has a place, I make sure that I have a plan and, most importantly, I make sure that plan has no chance of failing.
If there is ever the slightest chance that my plan might not work out, I ditch it. I revise it. I change the plan, and I wait even longer before I act.
Yet, here I am, in the airport, sitting alone, waiting on my flight to LaGuardia International Airport and my week in New York City. My plan? Find an apartment and find a job. I have a few appointments set up, a few job interviews and a meeting with an apartment broker.
But other than that, I have nothing.
I recently graduated without a job, which should be the scariest think I have ever done, right?
Wrong. I wasn’t afraid… Until now.
I’ll admit, I am terrified that my plans won’t work out; and there is a good chance they might not. Yet, although I am fearful, I am not too afraid to make a move, as I would have been in the past. Why? Because taking action is all there is left to do.
I have planned for this moment all throughout college. I have worked numerous jobs and internships; I have made connections; and I have even spent a summer abroad. Likewise, this past semester I planned out everything I could possibly plan. I have applied to jobs, I have researched apartments, and I have made sure that I have enough money saved in the event that I don’t (gasp) have a job.
I also researched various places to live, places to work and whom to work for. I have even researched backup options, such as nannying, in the event that I don’t (gasp, again) have a job.
I even made a backup for my backup. I have friends, I have family, I have a plan; or rather, a plan for a plan.
All that’s left is action take the first step, make my move, don’t look back, no regrets. But, I admit, I am terrified. My final days of school went by in a flash. Graduation went by in a flash. Even Christmas went by in a flash. All too soon I realized I am an adult. I have to make decisions. I have to live on my own (insert hyperventilation here). Yet, I know I have to act.
No longer can I wait until “next semester” to figure things out. No longer can I prolong the planning process and make sure I have everything set up exactly the way I want it to be. No longer can I rely on my computer to be the buffer between the outside world and me.
I have read about writers, businessmen, politicians and engineers who took a leap of faith and dove out into the unknown. I have also had the fortune of witnessing my two brothers chase their dreams without looking back. They all pursued their dreams in spite of their fears, in spite of their lack of planning and in spite of their age. They took that leap, and they succeeded. They realized, as many of us do at one point or another, that plans can only take you so far. At some point you have to kick yourself out of the nest, you have to have faith, and you have to leap.
As I prepare to board my flight, I take comfort in the fact that I am not alone. I am not the first one to push my fears aside in pursuit of my dreams, and I doubt I am the last. But for now, it is my turn, and I can ignore it no longer.
It is my turn to stop planning. It is my turn to take that leap. It is my turn to have faith. Most importantly, it is my turn to step on that plane, to travel into the unknown and to finally act.