Just like it does to everyone else; life occasionally jerks the steering wheel of a passing bus and runs me the heck over.  Sometimes I’m aware enough to leap aside into a puddle creating a much smaller mess than life had planned, but most of the time life succeeds in creating a bloody spectacle that will be remembered for years to come.

Today I asked myself if it was possible to hijack the bus first. If instead of letting life happen could I take the risk and make the first moves? I think this is a question a lot of us never ask ourselves. Or perhaps I’m just a slow learner. After all, I’ve been acquainted with this neutral monster called life for nearly thirty years, and only after actively taking steps to change things did this question come to mind.

I think the first step I took towards hijacking my own bus was when I started writing. I’d been unhappy with my personal and professional development for years. I could have continued to blindly walk down the 9-5 path and do nothing, but I didn’t. I opened up Word and took my first steps towards pursuing the life of an author. Now that’s not to say I hijacked the bus then, not even close. That was simply the moment that I looked left instead of forwards and realized that there were much more interesting streets I could be walking down.

But what happens when you notice those little streets and alleyways for the first time? You realize you want to explore more. At least that’s how it worked for me. You also notice there are buses hiding in those little streets and far fewer places to hide from them than on the main 9-5 path. You lose a little confidence and begin questioning everything. You realize can stay on the path where everything looks a little safer, or you can venture down the alleyways. But those aren’t the only choices you have. You can also look and explore, you can map out a route, and then you can hijack your own bus to take you where you want to go.

So that’s where I am now. I’m still working on my book, but I’m also volunteering. I’ve signed up for an amazing event called GISHWHES, and I’ve begun socializing. This coming week will be one of fun and laughs as I do my best to complete items on the list while pushing my boundaries. I’m expanding my personal and social life while reclaiming my identity step by exploratory step.

To top that off I’ve also decided to start looking for other career opportunities. I’ve applied for jobs at animal shelters, libraries, mental health hospitals, and power companies that are “going green.” I’m only applying for things that I’d enjoy doing, not just for any job that I’d qualify for like I have in the past. I’ve got decades left in the workforce and I can’t allow myself to be an office zombie the entire time.

So while I’m not quite ready to leave my current 9-5 path, I’m no longer glued to it just waiting for life to hijack another bus and hit me again. I’m exploring those streets and alleys. I’m looking for my route, and soon I will have my own bus to drive to better places…. (Maybe Colorado lol) Let’s just hope life doesn’t grab a bus at the same time I do and T-bone me at the intersection of opportunity and failure. After all, you just can’t predict what that monster known as life will do next.

Up until now I’ve let life happen. There is nothing inherently wrong with letting life happen. It’s easier and generally safer; even if life occasionally gets a hold of a bus. Venturing into those foreign streets and dark yet mesmerizing alleys can be difficult and full of hidden dangers. But for me, it’s worth it. How about you? Do you let life happen, or do you make it happen? Have you been at the crossroad I’m at now? If so, what did you do? I’d love to hear your stories.

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