Thursday, June 9, 2011

When last did you steal second base?

I think I've shared this quote before:
"You can't steal second base and keep your foot on first base" - Frederick B. Wilcox

At several points in my life, this has been my reality.

In my childhood I was soo timid that someone always had to push me off 1st base.

Take for example, Primary 4 - when my class teacher made me Class Prefect much to my horror. Never in a million years would I have raised my hand to respond to the call for interested Prefects. And for good reason. Even as a 9 year old I was quite self aware and knew that I just wasn't cut out for making enemies.

Me? Prefect? So that they'll be waiting for me in the bushes during break time because I'd written their names on the noise makers list? No thank you.

After 2 weeks, and only 2 names showed up on my noisemakers list, my class teacher impeached me without a fuss and found herself a more fearless leader. I was crushed but definitely more relieved to be relieved of my position.

Another first to second base incidence occurred several years later in secondary school. Once again, a teacher nominated me to become a Prefect -- again to my horror. This time, I couldn't worm my way out. She preached to me about how her mind was made up and how she felt I was up to the task.

And much to my surprise, I had a fantastic year in that role and learned a bit about my abilities, skills and talents.

About 4 years ago, I stood on first base again in a whole different ball game. I was a year out of college. But I was afraid to move because I didn't want to strike out on my way to second base. But time was running out. My student status was about to expire and I had to make a decision. And with the clock ticking loudly in my ear, I was once again pushed to make a run for it. So I did. I ran for second base without looking back.
Clinging to security is our natural instinct. Holding on to the bird in our hand while we look for two more in the bushes conventional wisdom.

But sooner or later, always sticking to conventional wisdom will lead to a conventional, boring life.

A life where "what-ifs" are neatly tucked away in the "later" folder. A life where if one doesn't seize the opportunities presented by transition, threats or tribulation, the "later" folder eventually becomes the "it's too late" folder.

And it's not just for the big things. It's also for the seemingly little things: Trying a new hairdresser, taking a different traffic route, saying 'hi' to an uninteresting stranger. Leaving first base to cleave to second.

I've noticed that some of my best gifts in life have come when I let go and just - hang mid air. Many times I've been pushed over the cliff by someone else. At other times, I don't see, yet discomfort or dissatisfaction cause me to leap because I know there just has to be a better place.

And most times, there has truly been a better place.

"The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places, surely I have a delightful inheritance" - Psalm 16

10 comments:

  1. so much wisdom in this post. What got me the most was - `always sticking to conventional wisdom will lead to a conventional, boring life`! wow. true story.

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  2. Very nice post!
    "always sticking to conventional wisdom will lead to a conventional, boring life"--very true, and I am trying not to live like this although sometimes it just feels comfortable. but i guess it feels comfortable only becuz it is conventional too. *sigh*

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  3. hmmm, true that..


    http://thediaryofafatnaijagirl.blogspot.com/

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  4. it'll be a shame if there was more adventure and we stuck to the comfortable and easy- the hands of adversity, opposition or just indignation can be a blessing in disguise. nice post hon.
    www.omonaikee.blogspot.com

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  5. This has been a very significant blog indeed. I’ve acquired a lot of helpful information from your article. Thank you for sharing such relevant topic with us. I really love all the great stuff you provide. Thanks again and keep it coming

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  6. So so true. always sticking to conventional wisdom will lead to a conventional, boring life, thats great.

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  7. Excellent. Convectional rules not always good

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  8. An interesting piece all the way
    Its only natural to be in the level of the "Thomases" believing only the seen. But its nobler to recognize that one thing the coward and the courageous both have in common is fear, the difference is in how they each deal with it.
    The irony of life is that, you may get to second base and even hate yourself for not crossing over the divide sooner

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  9. An interesting piece all the way
    Its only natural to be in the level of the "Thomases" believing only the seen. But its nobler to recognize that one thing the coward and the courageous both have in common is fear, the difference is in how they each deal with it.
    The irony of life is that, you may get to second base and even hate yourself for not crossing over the divide sooner

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  10. I just stumbled upon your post. I had recently read a blogpost from a Nigerian living in America who wasn't interested in moving back. I was looking for the opposite and so I found your post.

    I love your words of advice and how you tell your story. Thanks for the laughs and for reminding me that I am not alone in my thoughts. It is good to learn from those who have gone ahead in the journey.

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