Happily Unrealistic

“Life is a series of leaps”
Suzy Greaves*

I had genuinely forgotten it was a leap year until I heard a conversation about it on the radio. Usually, when a leap year comes around I’m thinking I can’t believe how time has flown by. For the first time in a long while I feel surprised by how much has changed. (Thankfully, for the better – not that those changes always felt as though they were for the better at the time).

If you had told me on Feb 29th four years ago that I would basically be working for myself I am not sure I would have bought it. I had a ‘safe’ job with a regular salary for a long time. And as appealing as the idea of working for myself seemed, it felt like too big a leap to make. Not realistic. Waaay too scary. How would I pay the mortgage?! But then I thought back and remembered when I had wondered if writing was too big a leap, yet there I was being paid to write. And before that when I wondered if working in TV was too big a leap, yet there I was working in TV. And before that when I wondered if getting into a college that lots of talented people wanted to get into was too big a leap, yet… you get the idea. And then I remembered I have never truly believed in being realistic. I think it’s because as I was growing up, each time I expressed a dream I had, I would be told by someone (usually a grown-up) that I wasn’t being realistic because I was “too quiet” or “too nice” or “too working-class” or even “too black”. There tended to be a pattern – my internal response would basically be:


But that’s what I’m doing anyway.

We are all capable of achieving those things we’d like to. I think it’s just that sometimes we can forget. Life can temporarily grind us down, or we get stuck in a rut… and we forget. That’s not to say it’s never scary to take those steps and make those leaps. Yet, speaking from my own experience, each time I have summoned up the courage and gone with what I believe it has always been where I have learned my biggest lessons, received the most unexpected rewards and surprised myself. (And, as it happens, those folks who told me I wasn’t being realistic.) Right now, I still have days with the odd wave of “How will I pay the mortgage?” panic as my mind races ahead to where I might be this time next year, rather than focusing on the present. But despite that, I would not change things. I would not wish to go back to that ‘safe’ scenario.

I would rather carry on leaping.

Happy Leap Year to You! 😀

*Thanks to Suzy for reminding me of what I had forgotten. Glad to see that you are still leaping too! 😀

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