We are going to Australia! For THREE MONTHS!
So, what does this mean for the blog?
1. I probably will not have many posts up in the near future
Depending on my work schedule, and what sort of internet access I have, I may not have a chance to blog while I am away. I may end up having lots of free time, on the other hand, and this may all be a wasted warning. Either way, I would say don't expect much from me for the next few months, and neither of us will be disappointed. I will, of course, continue writing my other projects as I have time and energy.
2. I will definitely (maybe) have a nice trip report upon my return
This, I am excited about. Hopefully I will have lots of cool stories and really gorgeous photos (taken by my beautiful and supremely talented wife, naturally). Who knows, maybe I will make a little story out of it. All of this depends on whether or not I am worked to the bone by my employer. Hopefully I will have at least a little free time to see some things while I am there.
3. I have a topic for this post that does not involve my trip to another country
Ha! See how I lured you into reading about what was on my mind? Clever no?
All kidding aside, I struggled for a while with deciding whether or not I wanted to go on this trip. I knew in my heart that it would be a good opportunity, and that we were really being led in this direction, but I couldn't help but think about how I could sabotage the opportunity so that we wouldn't be able to go.
It sounds crazy, I know, and I honestly felt crazy for a little while. I thought that maybe if I went in and told them that I didn't have the necessary experience, or I didn't feel comfortable doing the work, that they would send someone else on the trip. I would never dream of passing up the opportunity to do some interesting work if it was given to me in our office, but there was something about the change in location that made me afraid.
I was afraid of going, and had no real reason to be. Then, I realized that I probably am not the only one in the world that has ever felt this way. How many times do we have great opportunities served up on a platter for us to take, then we find some small way to weasel our way out of the situation so that we can continue doing the same thing that we have been doing? I realize that not everyone is like this, and that is great for those who can courageously jump into new exciting adventures, but for the rest of us it is difficult.
The rest of us have to fight off the lizard brain, the thing that wants to keep everything just as it is at all costs. It doesn't want to go on an extended work trip, get a new job, step out on a limb with a new project, find new friends, break unhealthy relationships, etc. All that it wants is to continue doing the same thing that it has become accustomed to doing. It wants to drive the same 45 minute commute to the same dead-end job that it has for the past few years.
I call the lizard brain something else: human nature. We are wired into these patterns of consistency, and it is the things that we do over and over again that become what we have a hard time giving up. If I just continue to work at my job and not pursue new opportunities, new adventures (like a work trip to Australia), then my human nature is going to continue to get stronger and keep me in my current job. I will not make progress by just sinking into my chair further.
So, I realized that I have to step out to move forward. If I start doing things outside of my comfort zone, and do those things consistently, then I will begin to step out of my comfort zone as a force of habit. Instead of backing down from a career opportunity because it is out of reach or beyond my experience, maybe I will step forward in confidence and say, "Yes, I can do that."
"Leap, and the net will appear." - John Burroughs