The first step

I gave my notice at work today. My birthday, March 9th, falls on a Friday this year, and that’ll be my last day at work. I’ll spend two weeks jettisoning most of my belongings and fitting what remains into my car, Tetris-style. Then on March 23rd, I head down to Red Rocks with Juan and Bob, kicking off a week long stint for them and a six month or longer road trip for me! The purpose of this blog is to keep people up to speed on where I am and what I’m doing while I’m on the road. Don’t worry though, I’ll probably continue to put up all kinds of weird shit in here.

This was my first serious job, and the first one I’ve quit. I knew I wanted to let my bosses know sometime this week, and I got a pretty bad case of the nerves on Monday–good job security, decent pay, and great benefits are hard to walk away from. I kept wondering what would happen if I got hurt, if I couldn’t climb, if I couldn’t find partners, if I hated being on the road, if I missed my friends. Some of these aren’t even ifs. I’m sure I’ll miss my friends, I bet sometimes I won’t be able to find partners, and I don’t doubt there’ll be moments when I hate being on the road and not having a shower or a real bed at my immediate disposal.

I’ve always liked climbing for its own sake, and some of the supposed spiritual and self-discovery benefits of climbing seem overblown to me. One thing I don’t doubt, though, is that it helps you learn to engage with risks and figure out how to make decisions from a place of happiness, rather than fear, and then follow through on those decisions. When you climb, you assess the route from the ground or from rest stances, and once you move from those positions, you’re committed. You keep going, regardless of how scary it might be, because you’ve already assessed those risks and have decided they’re manageable. You can’t trust yourself to accurately gauge risk during the act, during the most stressful part of the problem. You have to put those worries out of your mind and just focus on the present and the movement and the puzzle as best you can

I was happy to find that those same skills came in handy yesterday when I went to talk to my boss. Just breathe and follow through. I made the decision to do this months ago and I’ve been thinking about it for over a year — it’s a good one. Don’t let your fear stop you.

I realize this seems pretty overblown, but it’s a big first step for me. It’s the first time I’ve ever really strayed from the path that’s been in front of me since high school. I only recently realized that there are actually many paths, and all I need to do to try out a different one is take that first little step.

So here’s to new adventures and a whole fucking lot of fun.

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