Free to Choose and Free to Lose

In a few weeks, I’ll move away from my hometown. I know not what company I’ll work for, what my job title will be, or where I’ll be living. I’m frightened and invigorated by the prospect of change—of growth.

Life is an amalgamation of choices. Success is one of those funny words whose definition varies between people. To me, it means living the life I want to live.

Necessarily built into a free society is the freedom to stumble. I can move to this new city, get fired from this new job, thus losing my ability to pay rent. I mean not to let this happen.

I used to think the process of “growing up” was like treading water until death, but I’ve changed my mind. Treading water is what I did after graduation: keeping the same part-time job I’d had for years, being content to move back home, hoping life would drop an awesome opportunity right in front of me.

Growing up means realizing that you’ve been treading water and beginning the swim toward shore.

Some people let the looming Unknown stop them from ever growing up. There’s still a part of me that empathizes with these people. That was me for a long time. But I’m not treading water anymore. I’ve begun my swim.

My only hope is that I swim hard enough and fast enough and me enough so that when I look back just before I reach the shore, I think, “That was a damn good swim.”

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