As I laid back on the bench and looked directly up at Mt. Rushmore, I thought to myself, “now I’m ready”. After 20 years (minus one 14 month break to do volunteer work) of working for companies that told me not only what I had to do but often how I had to do it, it hit me full throttle — I am ready to create my own path.
I am an artist, not a cog. I want to learn and give. I want to create and share. So that is what I will do.
Those thoughts didn’t quite start that day — they had been stirring in me for many months. And they certainly didn’t end that day either. In the two months since my trip to the Dakotas, I’ve thought and planned a lot more for my new path, and I’ve realized something else: I am always ready for something, and right now I am ready “for this”.
Life is a variety of experiences and journeys, not just one or two, and I am always ready for something. Exactly 10 years ago this month, I sold my house in AZ, quit my job with a technology company, packed my Jeep and drove to New Orleans to help in the recovery efforts from Hurricane Katrina. At that time I was ready for that, wanted that, I was in the ideal mindset to go give back. Four years later, I was ready to go back to and make a difference at a major for profit company. Ready, willing, wanting, able. And I did.
Now I’m ready for something else. For this. In 5 years maybe it’s something different. I don’t know. But I do know what I’m ready for today.
I think back to that cold morning in South Dakota on the bench, looking up at the heads of Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson and Roosevelt. I’ll venture to say that there were different stages of their lives in which they knew they were ready for something else, be it leading an army or drafting a historical document or serving as President. Maybe there were times in their lives when they said, “Now I’m ready for this. Let’s give it a shot and go make a difference!”. I say amen to that, let’s do it.