Stacy's Place on Earth
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Tuesday, June 06, 2006:
Out on a limb....
"Why not go out on a limb?
Isn't that where the fruit is?"

Frank Scully (1892-1964)
American newspaper columnist
I saw this quote today and it really caught my attention. It is so true. Unless we take risks, we will never realize our full potential, or experience all that life has to offer. Instead we will lead a safe, unexciting existence that won't bring us all the happiness we could have if only we would have taken a chance.
Going out on a limb could be about absolutely anything. You don't have to risk your life on a daily basis to realize a dream. It could be as simple as calling your crush - who could turn out to be the love of your life - and asking them out, or taking a class in a subject that has always interested you or going on that cruise you've been dreaming about (note: I've done at least one of these things myself).
One way that I've going out on a limb was years ago when I was 19 years old. I really wasn't interested in going to college because I had no idea what I would major in, so it was a struggle for me to "find myself". But when I was 16, I was on my way to California for the first time, and before I left, I stopped and talked to the daughter of one of my mom's closest friends. She worked for a travel agency, and she absolutely loved her job. Right then and there, I decided that's what I wanted to do. So at 19, instead of going to college, I went to a travel school in downtown Minneapolis for 3 months. During the course, I interviewed with United Airlines. They flew me to Chicago for a 2nd interview. About 3 days before I graduated, I was offered a position with the company. Less than a week later, I had packed up my stuff and moved here with another girl who also got the job.

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I no longer work for UAL - in fact this July I would have had 15 years with the company - but I am still closely associated with them in my current position. During that time, I have met some of the most wonderful people in existence, and they hold a very special place in my heart (see this previous post). I definitely treasure my time there.
So really, the point I'm trying to make is that because I went out on a limb and faced the unknown, I have had a life I might not have had otherwise. I could have easily stayed in my small hometown, which for me would have been a mistake. Don't get me wrong - there's nothing wrong with people who choose that as their path. It just wasn't mine. I would never have been happy living in a bubble like that. I made the right decision for me, and it was scary moving away from home and learning to be completely self-sufficient without my parents' guidance, but I did it. Nothing in life worth having is easy. It's the hard work put into it that makes it worthwhile.
So what have you accomplished by going out on a limb? Or have you resisted going out on a limb for something you really wanted? Any regrets? What would your advice be?


  1. Loved this post! For me going out on a limb was seperating from my mom at 18. But I stayed and she left. My parents divorced when I was 5. I had an older sister who was 7 years older then me. She moved out and got married at 17 so it had just been me and my mom for 8 years. Just the two of us. She never dated or anything. We were a team. She worked full time, I went to highschool, we shared the household duties, took turns cooking dinner the whole bit. I cooked my first christmas dinner at 16! My mom is a nurse and sometimes had to work holidays. Anyway, even though I was completely self sufficient I just didnt know if I could make it without her. She depended on me just as much as I depended on her. It was kinda a co-dependant relationship. Anyway, when I graduated high school my mom wanted to move back to colorado where my sister and her family lived. I originally planned to go but changed my mind (much to my moms dismay). It was a big step for me, but I knew if I didnt do it then, I never would. We would move to Colorado, live together, and that would be that. I would be stuck. That is terrible to say, but that is how I felt. Anyway, it was the best choice I could have made. I got my first job, bought my first car (for 500 dollars), and go my drivers license for the first time at 18! A few months later, I got together with my hubby, which never would have happend had I gone. It was extremely hard for me to get out on that limb, but I'm so glad I did.

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