Monday, August 16, 2004

The Big Leap Of Faith

USA or UK?

Actually, I’ve been thinking a lot about Canada and about a week ago someone suggested Germany, after an intensive search I also discovered that the “forgotten” continent Australia also has a lot to offer in terms of technology advances in my field.

These are the thoughts that have been going through my head through the last two months. Needless to say, living on an island is very limiting. What bothers me isn’t so much the lack of choices - adapting is practically my middle name. Limiting is the mentalities that I come across. This doesn’t mean I haven’t met intelligent, cultural and extremely interesting people; this means that the general mentality itself creates day-to-day obstacles. There’s an old saying that goes “If you can’t beat them, join them”. On an island where gossip is second nature and success depends more on who you know rather than what you’re capable of, the general mentality leaves a lot to be desired. Fighting this mentality becomes tedious and exhausting and considering that I have no wish to become a part of it, this leaves me the only choice of leaving. Now that I’ve realised I what I want to do, the question becomes… where to?

It took me five minutes to make the decision that I want to leave, but it will take me between five to seven months to make the move. I have no idea where I will go, but I know that I will know when the time comes, until then I prepare the terrain.

USA? UK? Canada? Australia? Hell why not Cuba, I always wanted to perfect the salsa and meringue!

These where the thoughts that sat on my shoulder, tensing every tendon that exists in my neck. The beach is one of the most relaxing places to go when one wants to unwind and here I was contemplating an uncertain future! I know what I want out of life, I just don’t know which route to choose on getting there! I lay on my towel and closed my eyes, hoping that the answers would come to me or that I could at least stop thinking long enough to relax! Around me, the visual assault just helped to muddle my thoughts even more. There were couples spread all over; some were conversing, others simply soaking the sun but almost all of them were sending each other secret love messages that only the other person could understand. Next to us was a lady under an umbrella with a giggling little baby in her arms, the gurgling sounds it made kept me smiling until my attention was caught my a woman who obviously took her career very seriously. She paced from one side of the pool to the other talking into thin air while she listened from the earpiece attached to the latest Nokia cell phone.

Timing is everything; and my friend had it spot on when she suggested we go for a swim. Before my thoughts caused smoke to come out my ears, I decided to put out the fire being created in my brain with a swim in the ocean. Without much thought, I jumped in and allowed the waves to welcome me.

The ocean!

Powerful and majestic, it feeds and protects the underwater life that flourishes in its depths. It guides those whom wish to travel upon it and connects every continent on this planet. The vastest natural resource, perhaps the oldest, the ocean commands and demands respect. Just as its waters can be calm and soothing, they also become angry and unmerciful.
Mother Ocean enveloped me in her waves and I allowed every thought to leave my head as the waves taught my body how to move freely and without restraint. As I awaited my friend to jump in behind me, I swam to the floating blocks that people could rest upon and waited for her looking onto the horizon. Many times when I wanted to run or escape I would look so deep into the horizon that I could swear I could almost see land somewhere far out of focus. But which land? What did I see in that horizon, where was the ocean going to take me? Why couldn’t I simply close my eyes and only open them again when I reached a different shore? I would’ve continued the dead man’s lie if it didn’t occur to me that my friend was taking too long to join me. Looking back I realised that she was still on the rocks… waiting to find the courage to jump.

Jump! Just jump! I edged her on for a good fifteen minutes until I realised that she wasn’t listening to a word I was saying and that if she were going to jump, it would have to be on her own. Jumping from right next to her didn’t do much convincing either, so I took a deep breath and took my second jump from a diving board hoping that it would give her the courage to jump from where she was. Heights and I have never been good friends but I’ve always been one to try and do the things that I’m most afraid of. When I came up for air from my third jump, the sight of the highest diving board left a dare in the back of my mind.

Looking down from a really high diving board is not recommended to someone who actually intends on jumping! Your vision becomes blurry, your knees become weak and the air becomes much cooler around you. Looking down, you see the ocean churning and the breeze that suddenly becomes a wind, entices you to fall right in. Panic runs through as you try to remember why the hell you decided to climb up there in the first place! With nothing to prove and the only person daring me was myself, I still had a chance to turn back while there was no one behind me to force me to jump. Muddled thoughts of all the current challenges in my life made my heart race even more, and I was two steps on turning back… until I remembered that I’m not a quitter. Breathing deep, I remembered all the relaxing ways of clearing my mind that I learnt from yoga classes. Suddenly I thought no more and it seemed just natural to lean forward and let go… the fall seems to be an eternal moment, and when finally you’re swallowed by the ocean, it pulls you down forcing you struggle to come up again. Finally managing to come up, I gasped to breathe again, opened my eyes, looked up and realised… I did it! I jumped!

If I did it once I could do it again and the second time although scary… was much easier than the first but I managed to jump anyway.

USA? UK? Canada? Australia? Brazil?

I don’t know, the wind hasn’t blown me there yet. However, the tension left my neck for good when I jumped Lido’s highest diving board. Success is doing the things we think we can’t. When you’re ready, your instincts will take you to the diving board and then it’s left up to you to take the leap of faith.

No comments: