The Charlie Bravo Story

Take the plunge

Happy Charlie Bravo Day from the Casa del Whackos! This morning we have a question from Jody, long-time supporter and Patreon contributor as well as creator of Sweet Rusty’s dog treats:

“Here’s a thought: When you know in your head that you have to make a life-changing decision, but you’re not sure in your heart if you can, what’s the tipping point? Will the decision be right? Will you feel relief once it’s made? Will there be regret? What process do you go through to make that difficult choice? I know Charlie would just plunge in, but that’s her! The rest of us are a little more logical in evaluating things, but probably should be more like Charlie! Hmmmm . . .”

The world sends mixed messages: He who hesitates is lost. Look before you leap. Steve Harvey says “Jump”, and if you can’t(or won’t), you feel like a failure. What is “right”? Who wants to be known for, as Pink Floyd said, “living lives of quiet desperation”?

Regret can take many forms as the result of taking the road less traveled, or of NOT taking the road less traveled. I often think of my impulsive decision at forty-six to trade my four wheeler for a totally inappropriate motorcycle for a beginning rider, a Triumph Thunderbird 996. No one in my my family had ever ridden, a good deal of this based on good old Protestant prejudice and the rest based on fear of what “might happen”. Well, they were right, some of those things did happen, but I survived them, albeit with the resulting scars. But, oh, the places we’ve seen, and the people we’ve met, and the adversity we’ve overcome!

And fear; I believe that fear should be a factor in any decision, but that any decision where fear is the controlling factor is usually the wrong decision. The choice to ride a bike would not have been the same choice for me at thirty-six when the kids were small as it was a forty-six; the urge to “jump” was still there, but the timing wasn’t right, and I knew it.

A church, a job, a “career”, a toxic relationship, these can all be crates that confine us; comfy, familiar, yes, but familiarty breeds contempt. One of my favorite books is “Big Fish”; so many great lessons in an un-preachy format. One of the lines that hit me like a thunderbolt was “Did you ever think maybe you’re not too big— but, maybe this town’s just too small?”.

And I think that therein lies the answer; we can know for years, maybe decades, that what might be acceptable to us at the time would become unacceptable in the future, and we have to say damn the consequences, I’m busting out of this crate. Will there be regret? No doubt. Sometimes it hits me like an anvil when my mind screams at me at the most inopportune moments “YOU DON’T HAVE A JOB, YOU DEADBEAT!” But the sweet relief of not being unnecessarily confined FAR outweighs the boundaries of the crate, as I have faith that, like Charlie in her crate, something far greater is “out there”.

So what is the tipping point? I can’t tell you yours, as I sure didn’t know mine, and still don’t to the fullest degree. But when the time comes, you will know it, and no will have to tell you.

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

And how can I quote this with utter conviction? Because it’s exactly where I’m at now, on the precipe of a new chapter, heart in my throat and preparing to feel my privates lift into my chest as I take that leap of faith. What is it, exactly? Don’t know, exactly, but it has to happen, and you are invited along for the fall and subsequent rise, if it’s meant to be. If not? At least I’ll quit wondering, know what I mean?

And Charlie? She’s already off and charging headstrong down the trail; there is little room for introspection and self doubt in a noggin THAT full of self-confidence!

Chark diem!

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