“It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.”
― Hugh Laurie
A few days ago, I had a conversation with a friend regarding our roots, and how they shape the way we react to the world.
I grew up in the Pacific Northwest as the proverbial 80s latchkey kid. I didn’t spend much time indoors, and I didn’t have a lot of parental influence. As such, my roots formed by watching the pine trees grow. I took their wisdom… grow your roots both deep and wide… and I applied it to myself. Search in all directions, find what you need, and then go deep. Never stop exploring, and never believe that your base is wide enough. Keep growing.
When I was 16 years old, I decided that getting a driver’s license wasn’t enough. I started pilot training. I never realized we were poor and that flying was a rich man’s game. There was a perfect street corner on which I could play my flute and earn the money to take my flying lessons. When it rained (as it often does in the Pacific Northwest) and I couldn’t busk, I worked inside the ice cream shop on that corner. Or I worked at the airport. There were times I’d take my paycheck, turn it over, and write, “Pay to the order of Sunrise Aviation.” I’d hand it back to my boss, and then borrow $5 from the cash drawer for lunch.
Meanwhile, I lived on my own. My rent and utilities got paid most months. I found out much later that I had some guardian angels that looked the other way when rent came in late. Mostly, it was just me. I bought my food, cooked my meals, paid for gas and went to school. I worked a few different jobs, did my homework, applied for colleges and ultimately got that pilot’s license.
Why do I bring this up? Is it to whine and complain and say I had it hard? Oh, HELL NO! I had it great. And if I had to go back and do it all over, there are very few things I’d change. Mostly I’d fix my personal mistakes. I would never dream to change the circumstances of my upbringing.
It made me who I am.
It made me grow my roots.
Those roots are carrying me forward now. I look back to what shaped me, and I realize that I can grow myself in whatever direction I choose. I’m never limited beyond the restraints I place upon myself. And those limits disappear the second I recognize them and let them go.
I’ve said before that I’m working on reinventing my career. Retooling myself to follow my passions.
It struck me during my “roots” conversation how, through my whole life, I’ve never waited until I was ready to do… anything. Hugh Laurie has is right… there’s no such thing as ready. There is only now.
Yes, I study and learn and hone my craft of writing. But once I move from “software engineer by day” to “writer all-the-time!”, will I stop learning and honing? Of course not!
The root that formed within me that is labeled “writer” has grown and matured for years. It spread from the base of my soul during high school, and has dug in deeper with each passing year. Every post I write. Every project I take. Every new facet I learn. They all push that root wider and deeper. (There’s a Sting song in there somewhere)
The wonderful thing about learning is that there’s never a bottom.
Say it with me: “There is no such thing as ready, and now is as good a time as any.”
I know my possibilities are endless, as long as I stick to my roots.