We often fear the unknown. It’s what prevents us from stepping outside of our comfort zone; prevents us from reaching our true potential; prevents us from crossing the bridge to a different life. For me, graduating college, I experienced all these things. I’d imagine there are similar experiences and feelings our military goes through when retiring.
When the time for graduation came, I was filled with emotions. What was going to happen next? Graduating was always in the plans, so why am I nervous? Why am I anxious? It was the unknown. I had just spent the last four years at this amazing university and now it’s all over, just like that. Like reading a new book, you never know what the next chapter is going to be about however, you don’t just stop, you keep reading. Earning a college degree has been my biggest accomplishment to date and I can say with confidence that aside from all these emotions I feel, excitement is the one most present. I’m ready to step outside my comfort zone; I’m ready to reach my true potential; I’m ready to cross the bridge into a different life.
I never served in the military, but I’ve been exposed to it all my life. My father did 22 years in the Air Force. I got to experience promotions, deployments and ultimately retirement. In a way, what my father and I went through was similar. We both were stepping into a new world. His civilian, mine “real world”. Just like he got to see the excitement on my face when graduating, I got to see that same emotion on his when he retired. It was a sobering experience. We both ended one chapter and started another. We both left familiar places. He spent the last 22 years in a lifestyle he’d grown accustomed to and I just spent the last four years in a similar lifestyle.
My dad always said, “uncertainty breeds stress, planning alleviates uncertainty”. We both felt this uncertainty but we also both had a plan we were ready to execute. My dad was successful in his post-retirement life. I’m a recent graduate so I am still working on creating my future.
You might ask me: what’s preventing you from stepping outside your comfort zone? What’s preventing you from reaching your true potential? My response: NOTHING.